JOY!

The joy of TKR?  Really? Are you sure?

Um, normally one associates the word “Joy” with something like the joy of sex, or the joy of birth or the joy of life, and NOT the joy of a knee replacement.  I have used the phrase in The very patient knee replacement story by Jenny Meehan: “I loved having a knee replacement”.  Well, it is a very painful surgery, which tempers any experience, however I insist on keeping my  sentence in place, even though it is rather odd! (I am a bit odd, if the truth be know, but it’s great fun being that way!)   The reason for this is I feel people are unduly put off having elective surgery on their knees because of a fear of the pain, even though they are already enduring long term chronic pain. But surgical pain can be managed very effectively,  and if a knee replacement operation is successful, it has the potential to give someone so much liberty and happiness… it can give them their life back basically… and THIS is the joy of having a knee replacement.

It is hard to leave a life of pain behind.  Sounds silly, and there are often areas of pain still around after a knee replacement operation, as the healing process takes a good year, or even up to two, I believe.  There are complications and risks, as with any surgical procedure.  Pain and how we negotiate our way through it is an emotional and psychological, as well as a physical process.  But as I have said before, the key difference is pain which happens as the body heals itself is a lot easier to deal with than the pain of deterioration.  Well, for me this has been the case.  We are all different.  There are people who regret having it done, or who don’t feel that it has helped them in their lives.  Who are disappointed and expected more of a result.  My “result” has been beyond what I could have imagined.  It is not simply a matter of pain reduction, but of restored function.  I can WALK and STAND up properly now.  I have no regrets, not one.

It is wonderful to paint BIG paintings!  Wonderful to walk where I need to go!  Wonderful to carry what I need to carry! Wonderful to be able to embrace again the aspirations which I found torn away in the two year period before my knee replacement surgery in March this year.  I reflect a bit on work, value and time at the end of this post.  Well, this surgery has blessed me with a lot of time!  I am miles more productive already than I was before the TKR.   This is everything to me, because my work is my passion, and it’s what keeps me alive, in the truest sense of the word.

I sold a couple of paintings and I have another image being used for a book cover.  This is great because it funds the work I do and enables me to carry on doing what I do. And now my knee cannot stop me from doing my work and as work is so important to me, it’s a great relief!

I like to give my artwork to people and organisations from time to time, if I am particularly grateful and so true to form I donated a print to the South West London Orthopaedic Centre in Epsom where I had my surgery.  It was such a positive experience which helped me in so many ways.  It is very important that the whole person is treated…not just the knee and the care I received was fantastic.  It helped immensely with my recovery.  And you need a positive hospital experience with TKR, because there is no getting away from the reality of it being a hard slog for the few months afterwards!   My surgeon was Mr Dinah, with his team,  and they and all the staff,  have done a very good job!

http://www.eoc.nhs.uk/news/artwork-donated-by-jennifer-meehan

Quote from their newsletter:

“SWLEOC would like to say a warm thank you to Jennifer Meehan who very generously donated a piece of her own artwork to the Centre.
 
Jennifer met with SWLEOC Medical Director Mr Philip Mitchell and Director Mary Richardson to discuss her experience as a patient at SWLEOC and her surgery which was performed by Mr Dinah. 
 
Afterwards, Jennifer kindly  donation a piece of art that she had created, which will now take pride of place in our Pre Theatre Department for all of our new patients to admire.”

 

It gives me a lot of pleasure to donate what was my personal print of ” No Problem/Moving On”.  I won’t be making another of the work the same…It’s a digital print mounted on foamboard and laminated.  Just right for a medical setting, as easy to clean!

Detail on the work:

No Problem/Moving On – Geometric Colour Abstract Print by Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

One of the “Signs of the Times Series” by Jenny Meehan

This artwork design conveys a positive attitude, and is the fruit of my interest in positive psychology and personal mobility challenges. A “can do” attitude in the face of resistance and difficulties is the only way to move forward. The design has something of my own experience of exercising in a gym with motion suggested through various formal elements, of varying speeds and a sense of progression.

www.jamartlondon.com

It gives me a lot of happiness to know that people will see it when they come in for their surgery.  It’s a good image of positive movement forwards, up beat and certainly has some bounce to it.   I think they have put it in an excellent place and it can do its work now.

The world needs artists.

Thank you to the person who said that to me!

It’s a treasure!

Here is No Problem/Moving On:

 

Jennifer Meehan/Jenny Meehan No Problem/Moving On abstract art print by Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com bright bold motivational art for physiotherapy experience personal mobility challenges, jenny meehan,now at SWLEOC south west london elective orthopaedic centre

No Problem/Moving On sign of the times series jenny meehan (jennifer meehan) now at SWLEOC

 

Now I CAN move on!  With my “new” knee!

No Problem/Moving On Jenny Meehan/Jennifer Meehan SWLEOC art donation image 2017

Jenny Meehan/Jennifer Meehan SWLEOC art donation image 2017 No Problem/Moving On

I have an “Attune” Knee!

https://www.depuysynthes.com/hcp/knee/products/qs/ATTUNE-Knee-System

It’s LOVELY!  Really settling in well!

If you like the image “No Problem/Moving On”  I have it on the “print on demand” site Redbubble.com.  I get a small percentage of any sales.  Work is not signed personally by me, and hasn’t been through my own fair hands, but the quality of their products is very good in my experience at least.

Once I have worked on my digital images, I don’t tend to print them out myself, or get them printed directly, as I have too many other projects to work on, plus the voluntary counselling/mentoring and the small amount of  teaching/art tuition I do.  And domestic work.  But Redbubble is a good way to make my work available to all.  If you do possess a signed digital print by me,  it’s a bit of a rarity, and ever increasingly so at the present time. I am painting MORE than ever before.  This is good.

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams

Plenty of unsigned prints here though!

https://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams/works/20507601-no-problem-moving-on-geometric-colour-abstract-print-by-jenny-meehan-jamartlondon-com

The clothing looks, erm, different, but I thought I would leave it on there anyway!  Just an art print may be a more conservative choice!

 

“Starting Out” by Jenny Meehan

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

 

© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reservednew starting out geometric abstract design jenny meehan

new starting out geometric abstract design jenny meehan© Jenny Meehan DACS All Rights Reserved

Very fond of the above!  Still getting a lot from it.

I have “Calm Moment” which is another of the same series of work on show at JAX Cafe in Kingston Upon Thames. (52 Old London Road, Kingston Upon Thames KT2 6QF)

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

Calm Moment by Jenny Meehan at JAX Cafe Kingston upon Thames

I have more similar work, which can be purchased very easily on Redbubble.com.

http://www.redbubble.com/people/jennyjimjams

Here is another example produced around the same time period:

“Drawn Together”

Southwark Arts Forum,Tower Bridge "Art at the Bridge" #7 “Building Bridges, the Female Perspective" in celebration of International Womens's Day,Drawn together by Jenny Meehan, Victorian Engine Rooms Tower Bridge Exhibition, jamartlondon, modern contemporary abstraction geometric art,

Drawn Together by Jenny Meehan

“This artwork expresses some of my female emotional experience: the emotion of two parts of my sense of self being pulled together. A feeling of balance and unity, which holds, even when the two sides are different in some respects. The suspended purple and yellow contrasting colours create stasis and tension. Yet, there is also a mirroring of the same essential structure in my composition, drawn together in a pivotal centre, which may suggest movement. This piece also resonates in relation to the Tower Bridge; an engineering achievement involving among other things, precision, balance, and design. Creative energy, both within and without, in both engineering and art.”

(Statement for the Building Bridges Tower Bridge Exhibition, for the above work)

 

As said earlier, the versions of geometric prints  I had printed myself are laminated and mounted on foam board, and signed by me personally, but the work is also available as open edition unsigned prints on the “print on demand site” Redbubble.com.  I like my work to be available to a wide range of people, with all budgets.  The laminated prints on foamboard would be particularly good for a bathroom or other slightly wet area.  I have one in my bathroom and it’s been there for five years and is still looking very good.   On Redbubble.com I noticed they now do prints on metal…I imagine they may be similar in being fine in a bathroom.   Need to check them out.

 

“The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan”

The recovery and  rehabilitation from my surgery which was on the 8th March continues!   I wrote a lot about it in “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” which is on a separate page of this blog.  Look to the right hand side under pages and you can follow the link to it there if knee replacement surgery and patients experience of it is of interest to you! As well as the full version, which had colour coded text to help selective reading, “The Very Patient Knee Replacement Story by Jenny Meehan” is now in an abridged form.  You can get to it by following this link, and the link is also on the side bar of this blog under “Pages”.

https://jennymeehan.wordpress.com/abridged-version-of-the-very-patient-knee-replacement-story-by-jenny-meehan/  It is still pretty long, so skimming may be a good idea!

Just have to post this again!  I love it!  Such a good memory!

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

very happy with my new knee in bright red Asda nightdress

 

Just loving the new knee.  Can paint for hours.  Stand for hours.  No longer limp at all. Can carry my art work places and use public transport with ease.  Can walk fast in a London crowd.  Can plan to go places, without fear of being stranded. Can keep up with friends.  It’s all just great, at just coming up to five months post op.    Very minor pain, when over doing things.  Well worth the effort, is the verdict on it for me.

 

Working on some new paintings…

Now I CAN!

Very early sneak preview of some in progress.

Bear in mind I work in a very piecemeal way.

These may not be ready for a few years.

Little and often.  Just like TKR post op exercises!

I have around 20 paintings “on the go” right now.

I often just put a couple of colours and marks down at a time.

They need a lot of thought.  A lot of patience.  They are ready when they are ready.

Some come together quite quickly.

Others take years.

I thought I was going to be stuck with working on tiny little paintings for the rest of my life.

Nearly got used to the idea.

Thankfully not.

I need to walk around a lot when painting.  I need to view the work at a distance, and this involves a lot of walking back and forth.

Plus all the hunting around for what I need!

Great to be in action again!

 

These will develop significantly over time.  That’s the good thing about acrylic paints. Quick drying.  Layers.

Miss using oil paint, but studio is not big enough…Need a lot of drying space for those!

 

Can  You Put A Price On Art?

I have been thinking about the question “Can you put a price on Art?” recently.  And the simple answer is “No”. Even though artists have to put a price on their art work if they offer it up for sale, and they may use various factors to determine the price, for example, how established they are, where it is being shown, how much time and materials it took to make, and the general ball park figure that they normally sell work at. The figure they choose does not reflect the value of the art work, but serves more as an entry point, to another person, in respect of if they are able to access it.  If they love it, the range of what they can afford will adjust accordingly, to a point.  Hence the importance of artists being consistent in their pricing of work.  It is simply a matter of integrity.

For the artist there are additional considerations, like how much commission the organisation they are showing with takes, how much their expenses were all around, and how much they had to pay to take part in the exhibition in the first place, etc, etc.  These need to be born in mind, and do make some variations in what the price label finally is.  The majority of artists, as I have said before, find that they might sell work very occasionally, and the whole matter is rather an added bonus rather than something that they actually depend on happening, particularly if their focus is not commercial, as is the case with myself, but is more a matter of progress and being able to progress one’s work.

It is also true that, along with that progress, there is a desire that people should be able to possess my work, and that does not mean a certain class or type of person, but simply any person who sees, loves, wants and relates to the art work in some way. This does not mean I am going to give it away, (though sometimes I do) or that I do not value it myself, because of course I do.  When I put an affordable price on a piece of work, it does not represent the value of it to me, because I do not personally gauge the value of it in monetary terms.  But I price my work in a way which I hope will make it accessible, as far as possible, without discounting my own time and effort, which matters very much to me.

This approach is also why I have no problems with my work being reproduced and used, as long as the appropriate legalities are in place.  It is not, in my opinion, only for the famous and well known fine artists, to enjoy the multiple reproductions and use of their imagery, while the less well known fear publication and reproduction of various kinds because they feel somehow that it makes their work less “fine art” and somehow more common!  To make art accessible is not to undervalue it, but simple to share it around a little more liberally and let it do it’s own work without hiding it away or keeping it to yourself.  Copyright violations are another matter…Artists of all kinds should always get appropriate recompense for their work, unless they choose to do otherwise, because it is their work and as work it is investment.  This applies regardless of the way the artist sustains their practice.

While there is plenty of information about on how artists should choose to price their art, and there are also wider economic considerations, such as in the article below:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-21481381

Putting a price on the value of art
By Jane O’Brien
BBC News, Washington
18 February 2013

This was a good read!

 

I tend to bring myself back to the fact that the value of many things in life cannot be measured.   It is not over spiritual and unrealistic to hold this important fact in mind, and the presence of it, and an awareness of it, is very important for any person involved in any type of work which, for whatever reason, does not equate, in their realm of doing and practising it, with money.  The work of a person parenting, housekeeping and domestic managing, plus all that is involved in caring for others and nurturing growth, is something which does have a monetary value if the tasks are all broken up and done is one particular setting, but in another setting, any currency that would apply is suddenly not there.  There are also those involved in paid work which has a monetary value applied to it far beyond and out of proportion to the work in hand, and others whose work is paid and yet is completely underpaid, bearing in mind the nature of their work, it’s value in society and what they actually do.

So money is a very random and inaccurate way of telling what things are worth.  It is a consideration, and may become a more important and crucial matter for an artist at a certain stage in their development if that development starts impacting the so called “art world” at some point.   The following is a helpful read, if that is the case:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel-grant/artist-art-sales_b_1097873.html

THE BLOG Putting a Price on (Your) Art Takes Some Thought
11/17/2011 04:36 pm ET | Updated Jan 17, 20 written by Daniel Grant

I do not believe that it helps an artist to focus in this direction though.  People who love with passion their work are able to see it’s value completely apart from any measure of value put on it from external sources.

This is excellent, and quoted from  “10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money” by

Siobhan Harmer

“Money is a very powerful thing, it builds empires and breaks down kingdoms, it allows for dreams to come true and it takes others away, it makes some people happy and others completely miserable. Today the pursuit of money is almost directly linked to the pursuit of happiness, many will argue that money = happiness.

However, this is inherently problematic as this mindset leads many people to stray down a path that doesn’t best suit them. When people choose their careers, they are sometimes blinded by money and so choose to follow the paper trail. Although money is great and can buy us all the things that will temporarily make us happy, no amount of money can buy time. Time is our most valuable asset and it is something, that while on this earth, we should spend most wisely. You shouldn’t feel like you’re mindlessly wasting your life away.”

“10 Reasons Why Following Your Passion Is More Important Than Money” by  Siobhan Harmer

Read the rest of the article, it’s excellent.  My favourite line:

“Time is our most valuable asset and it is something, that while on this earth, we should spend most wisely.”

It is obvious really.

This article, “More than job satisfaction – Psychologists are discovering what makes work meaningful – and how to create value in any job by Kirsten Weir”  was a good read too:

Something that’s meaningful for one person may be inconsequential for another, however. What makes work worthwhile to you probably depends on your culture, your socioeconomic status and how you were taught to see the world, according to Pratt. An academic might find value in scholarship, for instance. “But a firefighter might look at an academic and ask, ‘Are you helping people on a daily basis? If not, it’s not worthwhile work at all.'”
People assign significance to their work in a variety of ways, as Pratt and doctoral students Douglas Lepisto and Camille Pradies describe in a chapter in the 2013 book “Purpose and Meaning in the Workplace.” Some may derive meaning not from the job itself, but from the fact that it allows them to provide for their families and pursue non-work activities that they enjoy. Others may find meaning in being able to advance themselves and be the best they can be. People with a craftsmanship orientation take pride in performing the job well. Those with a service orientation find purpose in the ideology or belief system behind their work. Still others extract meaning from the sense of kinship they experience with co-workers.
Craftsmanship, service and kinship orientations are especially likely to be meaningful, as they all point to something beyond the individual, says Pratt.”

More than job satisfaction
Psychologists are discovering what makes work meaningful — and how to create value in any job.
By Kirsten Weir
December 2013, Vol 44, No. 11
Print version: page 39

Nice quote from the above:

“Meaning doesn’t take money,” she says. “At any rank, people can make different meanings of their work, and also of themselves at work.”  – Jane E. Dutton, PhD, a professor of business administration and psychology at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan.

So throw that status away!  Because it may well be measured in monetary terms… And that is not very reliable at all! If others do it, so be it.  But make sure you don’t do it yourself.  Because we all mean an awful lot.

On a very practical note, I tend to price my original artwork at between £200 and £500…  It is not for me to assess the value of it, but I guess that is the monetary range I personally feel appropriate.  As my work is well developed and strong, I have been focused on it for the last ten years, and I assess what I ask for it based on that, as well as the other factors mentioned at the beginning of this post.  I don’t work on a profit making basis, but I need to develop and continue what I do, and this enables me to do so.  I don’t think about my work in terms of the “market”  or even with thoughts of what I might potentially get from it.  I am simply not orientated that way.  When I paint, I paint to paint and that is all that is involved.  I do not paint to sell and I do not paint thinking one little bit about even selling the work.   I paint to paint and that is it.  And when the work is done, it will live with me for often many years, for it still has a lot to say, and I do not mind learning from it one little bit.

What I want is to be able to die knowing that my work is not where I personally left it!  But in other places living it’s new life with a new owner.  That is far more important. Consequently, I probably under price my work.  But there comes a point at which you know for sure a painting is ready for a new home.  If the new owner comes and recognises the fact, then both collector and artist are very happy, and go away pleased, having both their lives enriched.

Our time does end.  At some point!  There is nothing morbid about that. And I do not want to leave a pile of paintings behind me that haven’t really been able to enter into anyone’s heart but my own.

Time is our most valuable asset and it is something, that while on this earth, we should spend most wisely. You shouldn’t feel like you’re mindlessly wasting your life away.

 

And something completely different…

Bruce The Great Poem, by Jenny Meehan

I wrote this poem as one of my efforts when attending a local poetry writing group.

Unfortunately due to needing to allocate the time elsewhere, I had to stop attending the group.  But I hope to rejoin again at a later date.

I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

I do not fear the purr, and whirring rotation of blades;
The black box behind me,
a dark and solid mass, suckered to the side
of the invisible container…
which I refuse to acknowledge.

I am Bruce, Bruce the Great…
Amid the mass of bubbles, I fly
high above the rocks;
No wind will blow
me off direction.

What moves before my face
speaks an echo…
It too, testifies of the extent of my domain.
You may fix me in your eyes,
open your orifice, and flash your fins
to the beats of time. Maybe,
dissolving thoughts of moving ahead
into aqueous meditations?
I wait; My pause is ever before me,
but I will not turn.

I am beautiful !
Reflective and fiery orange,
flame-like,
un-cooled by water, which is my elemental matter
of flecked and opalescent wonder!
Did you not see the extent of my tail?
Did you come to listen to the oracle of my mind?
Surely not to invade?
Do you see in the darkness of my mouth
the end of your existence?

The edge of my world is not something I like to admit.
I do not speak of this, but hollow out bubbles of air.
Send them up;
Prayer, to the fish that fly.
I hear them, even though I have no ears,
rotating my eyes upward
and twisting my dorsal fin.
My body placed in perfect alignment.

It is in this yogic moment…
when you caught me
and recorded my existence, forever.
Against the flowing, green, weeds
and the purr and the whirring
rotation of the blades; that black box behind me,
a dark, solid, mass.
But no darker than the tunnel
I breath into you.

Go no further!
I am Bruce; Bruce the Great

Jenny Meehan 2016

 

I wrote the poem in response to a photograph of the group facilitators gold fish. Her pet fish was called Bruce, and the poem is what came to mind.   I keep tropical fish and love watching them.  So my own fish also helped the process.

 

Enjoying the Sunshine!

Just loving the weather we had in June, and now also.  Great for drying paint.  I am experimenting with painting on some large A1 greyboard.  It’s nice to have a bit more room to move the paint around!  I am also working on smaller paintings, and experimenting more with perceived texture as well as actual texture.   I have many pieces of card with paint on, both very small and large.  And there is a lot of looking going on.  At past work as well as present.   I have been blessed to meet some lovely people so far this year, and I am enjoying the fruits of the patience I have come to appreciate more.  The knee replacement surgery has had unexpected benefits.

 

………………………………………………….

Jenny Meehan (Jennifer Meehan)

Jenny Meehan is an artist and designer based in Chessington Surrey, Greater London/South West London/Surrey

(text from website jamartlondon.com)

Jenny takes a process led approach and while the art she creates is informed by her research activities, her outlook on life, and personal experiences, it is the formal qualities and what she perceives as the presence or poetry of the work itself which she is most concerned with. Her visual art is intimately connected with her writing and poetry, and the relationship between these two strands of her creativity is a lively and interesting one.

Jenny is particularly interested in the relationships between creativity, spirituality and mental health and wellbeing and uses both Christian contemplative practices and participation in regular psychoanalysis to inform the direction and development of her artistic practice. While specialising in abstract painting and interested in lyrical abstraction and abstract expressionism, she also enjoys working with digital imagery and graphic art. Her visual art relates intimately to her spirituality, writing, and poetry, and she explores this dimension of her work and experience through an artist’s blog on WordPress: Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal – The Artist’s Meandering Discourse.

 

 

 

 

I am not sure if I have posted this up already.. Had a few problems once when writing a post, and got muddled with the different versions, so if this is a repeat, well.  Don’t worry, it’s me, not you, who has gone double!

 

Memo for June:  Baker Tilly in Guildford

Four of Jenny Meehan’s prints and four of her original paintings can be seen at Baker Tilly’s  offices in Guildford between July – September 2013. To make an appointment to view please contact Sue Dragon at Guildford Arts on
Email: gabt@guildfordarts.com or Phone: 01483 573 538

texture acrylic filler pigments, imaginative internal landscapes,memory based painting abstract expressionist, lyrical abstraction,romantict british art,romanticism expressionism 21st century,british uk female painter fine artist meehan,Cove - Jenny Meehan Acrylic Painting

Cove – Jenny Meehan Acrylic Painting
Very textural…which you cannot see too well here!

 

Above is “Cove”… I think childhood memory plays it’s part, once more, as it nearly always does!  I loved Combe Martin in North Devon, and there are wonderful rocks, crevices, caves, and other places of shelter.  The three little finger marks I placed near the end…I was thinking then of my  family members, both birth family and family now.  I think many people have treasured memories from their times by the sea…  I cannot imagine living somewhere without a coastline!    Cove is one of four paintings which will be on show at Baker Tilly in June

Artists Beware!  Amusement and Depression!

We simply don’t command what we are worth.  Well, maybe toned down a little into “It is easy to undervalue art working”.

This is the conclusion I have come to regarding art working in all its forms.

This article below, by Alistair Gentry is highly amusing, sobering, and maybe slightly depressing!

http://careersuicideblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/17/artist-opportunities-may-2013/

While amusingly extreme, it’s wise to take note of  what the situation often is…Not always, not necessarily so extreme, but  I have suspected much of this for a while.  I have very limited experience and Alistair Gentry has a lot.  So I do mark his words!

I think the “answer” is to simply make sure that what you do does work for you in the way you want it to.  Our reasons for doing things are many, and the bottom line is that the reason you ultimately choose to do something is because it means something to YOU.  How you go about getting it around, how you use  your skills, how you choose to invest your time and money…  Make your choices but whatever you do, don’t delude yourself that the substance of what you do is going to be realised in recognition, status,  or money.  It might be, but this is a side issue.   Put your heart into your art working and do it for the value it brings to your life and try to educate others as much as you can as to why art working is valuable, and exactly how it is.  Think  about it for a start… Why do you bother then?   How do you show this?  How do you talk about it?  What difference can it make to someone’s life?  Why does it matter?

“We simply don’t command what we are worth.”  Is me quoting myself!  I had better listen!

It is not rooted in a sense of self importance or inflated idea of the value of my own work, but more the conclusion I have come to through thinking about why art does matter in society and culture.   We have to have useful, transferable, competent skills and be willing to share them.  Useful, interesting, and thoughtfully reflective insights into the human condition which come from time invested into what is,  at it’s root, a contemplative practice.   And the value of the practice and it’s produce needs to be encouraged,  not exploited, by the way things work in the “art world”  (whatever that really is!).  I think it quite possibly nothing to do with art.  In my realistic moments I also conclude that business will always be business, and this is a ruthless and money minded matter.

I’ve resolved myself to continue to re-think and review what I do and why.  How I invest my time and money.  I’ve built up a bit of an exhibition history now, which can have it’s uses, but my heart is not in it.  As a trail or path in itself, it does not lead anywhere.  It is more what happens inside of us, and with our relationships and connections which matters, not some illusory idea of recognition or value based on ever shifting sand of whim, personal taste, or an idea or relative importance and value.   Only history holds the real answer to what ends up having stood the test of time, and even that is selective and not entirely reliable as a gauge of value, though it certainly indicates impact.  Many wonderful women have sadly been left out of the big art history trail!

On an optimistic note,  just to balance out the extreme despair that could easily assail one if only thinking down certain lines,   I have also  found that, as well as many rather dry experiences in my efforts to share my own work with others,  there are very many exciting, interesting and worthwhile artistic ventures happening.  People researching certain themes,  for example,  the wonderful “Speaking Out – Women Healing from the Trauma of Violence”  by Dr Nicole Fayard (University of Leicester 2014).  This project was a fantastic example of art working being explored in a very interesting and positive way, and for good end too,  raising awareness of trauma recovery and art,  bringing insight and information regarding social issues, sparking off discussion and establishing connections between people with common interests and passions.  Being part of that project has given me far more than I expected it to.  Not only has the process of working through some of my own tangled thoughts been  quite helpful,  but it has been inspiring and motivating to understand and recognise the value of art working in relation to trauma recovery, and this pushed me along a path I had started to walk on just that little bit further.

 

A Quote From “Going Slow” by Michael Sadgrove

“I am trying to learn, late in life, that the race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong.  Ours is an age where speed is everything.  Wherever you turn, in business, in industry, in education, even in the church, success is measured by this: that you fill your diary, work every hour God sends, work both smart and fast.  When I was in Sheffield and trying to raise funds for the Cathedral, I asked a wealthy businessman to help.  As he wrote out the cheque, he said to me: ‘Michael, it’s really important that the church models something different from the hectic pace at which we in the public and private sectors expect to see results.  The cathedral has been here for centuries. It has a perspective sub specie aeternitatis: it looks at things from the vantage point of eternity. It can help us take the long view, learn the meaning of patience.’  Perhaps this is what St Benedict meant by stability in his rule for monks: not running feverishly from place to place either physically or metaphorically, but being committed to the present where God has placed us, living according to that long view. ”

The above extract is from “Going Slow” a sermon preached by Michael Sadgrove on 10th February 2013 http://www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/worshipandmusic/sermon-archive/going-slow  for the whole sermon, which is a good read.

As someone who often, for some odd reason, sometimes makes life much harder than it needs to be by overreaching, in terms of giving myself unrealistic targets, the sermon “Going Slow” is a timely reminder that a hectic pace is not the way I want to live my life deep down, and not the way to position myself to my best advantage I don’t think either.   Thankfully I tend to recognise fairly quickly when I make my schedule unrealistic, and manage to adjust things accordingly by making a reassessment of priorities…it hasn’t got me into any trouble yet and I hope will not in the future, but it has caused me unnecessary stress at times.   I think that one of the reasons I find the contemplative way of life a great aspiration and the way forward for me is probably in that it counteracts my natural tendency to associate achievement and doing with being worthwhile as a person.  I continue to shake this delusion off, and it will be a long term task, I am certain!

Good Article on Oil Paints and Acrylic Paints http://www.goldenpaints.com/justpaint/jp12article1.php

This article on Oil and Acrylic Paints is one of the most thorough I have come across, and I do just love my paint research.  I have such an interest in it, I know for sure I am obsessed with paint, because it defies all reason.  I could quite happily spend an hour a day reading about technical matters regarding the use and qualities of different paints.  Well, there have been some days when I have done this…  Finding an in depth article like this one from Golden Paints “Just Paint” publication does save a lot of time though, so I hope it is useful to you if your interests lie in that direction!   If not, there is no doubt something else that you would happily spend an hour reading about!

 

Clyde Hopkins’ Paintings Continued…

I used to love getting plasticine and putting all the colours together, then slicing through them.  Clyde Hopkins’ paintings make me think of this memory, and so comes another of those internal connections that draw us one way or another when we look at paintings which excite us more than some others. “About the Orinoco” 2013   Oil on linen 105 x 90 cm

Copyright Clyde Hopkins.  Permission to use has been granted by the artist.

Oh, this one, yes.  This may be my favourite.  ( I can see my plasticine cut well).  What is more, there is an egg which lies waiting underneath the ground.  I am slightly concerned at this point that my comments and response are rather simplistic.  However, who cares but me, and only for a moment. Plus, this is probably a good thing.  My logical and intellectual  brain, while useful, sometimes robs me of a lot of pleasure. I love allusions to growth and the organic, and find them here in this painting, with a sense of being below ground level, which is also something which has held an interest to me for many years.  It was the only part of geography I enjoyed…rock formations, glaciers, volcanoes, different types of layers on the earth’s surface.  All so much better than towns, houses and populations.

“The Orinoco is one of the longest rivers in South America at 2,140 km (1,330 mi). Its drainage basin, sometimes called the Orinoquia, covers 880,000 square kilometres (340,000 sq mi).”

There you are.  Your intellect is now satisfied a little.   There is certainly a feeling of drainage in the painting.  And of forest.  And of roots. It’s kind of odd, that part in the painting at the near top right, with it’s concentric circles rippling together, bringing it away from the flat surface into a space beyond the picture plane.  But it doesn’t disturb me, and I think there is a patch of what I will call  “mystic light” just where those light purple/lilac seed type patches are falling.    So there is movement, light, and what looks like  a fair amount of texture in the bottom right hand side of the painting (looking face on).  Those things build an area which has pulled away from  the flatness of the strata/cross section side, and so, all does look in accord.  It works.  The computer screen will be playing its part in distorting what the reality of the reflected light is,  and so I am feeling  deprived.  But something like that is happening.

It’s a joyous painting, and seeps a sense of experience, and experienced use of colour, which is delightful to me.  I like organic forms in paintings and while I can appreciate paintings of geometric composition, and can imagine the freedom to explore various colours and paint applications within them, my eyes need the relief of a bit of undulation!   I like paintings which are a pleasure to the eye…No shame in that.   But ones which also challenge and stimulate.  These paintings do all three, and, like all paintings, all kinds of other things which we have not a clue about, no doubt. I want to look at some more in future posts. On the “Will Do” list!

 

Signs of  The Times

I hold a preference for  strictly geometric designs just being printed and flat.  And no more.  I found this out through my own “Signs of the Times” series.  I was thinking about maybe  translating some of them into paint, but couldn’t really conjure up the will to tear them away from their printed expressions, which were far truer to my intentions at the outset.  Behind each one,  there stood the thought that I had started working on them because I was sick to the core of advertising… sick of seeing all around me images which had the sole intention of pointing out some need and proposing the answer to it, all for commercial and business gain.  And so I took the sign part seriously.  I wondered how the world would look with, instead of adverts for products and services everywhere, it had simple statements of being or small phrases which simply hit you with no ulterior motive.  Things like “Quick Dip”  and “Putting Your Point Across” just expressed with no more message than that.  No more meaning or intent than the fruit of me grappling with how best I could express inner movements of the mind and heart.  Simple symbolic communication, which one could respond to without pressure.  You could emotionally agree, or not.   Simple as that.  Inner experiencing.  No demands.  No pointing out of anything you may be lacking, may need, should have etc. etc.

So I like the simple and the straightforward, and I like geometric design and paint encountering it.  I like them apart and I like them together.  But in my own painting I want the challenge of the relationship between the geometric and the organic/lyrical.   There is something which is more “giving” about it.  My mind just doesn’t respond to straight lines that well, maybe.  It is interesting for me to take note of others work and I don’t have the time to put everything which strikes a chord in this Journal, but hopefully I will have some trace over time, of things which have helped me to discern my own creative path.  It is though recognising something you like in others work that you get some sense of what your inner interests might be.   I think it possible that seeing what you like around you, you see it with eyes fresher than you could have for your own work and that this can encourage you and validate the little stirrings which you are starting to feel inside yourself.  I still remember wandering round some art fair (I cannot remember which it was) and finding my eyes only resting on Ivon Hitchens’ and Alan Davie’s paintings…everything else just seems to sink into the abyss!  It was their painting alone which caught me completely…  Nothing else seemed significant. We search for significant form, and I don’t mean significant form in the Bell sense, but in the poetic.  Something which calls back to us, like an echo, of what resounds within.

Back to the “Signs of the Times”… Here is another one which will be on show at Baker Tilly this year… Title is “No Cares”

No Cares print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan

No Cares print from Signs of the Times series by Jenny Meehan

 

Chance Encounter on the South bank with Nigel Fountain interviewing for  “The Oldie”

As I make my way back from my psychotherapy session I often stop to sit by the Thames.  Anywhere by water is my favourite place in London.  I have rather “a thing” about water… and find myself drawn to it in both in the ways it is used symbolically,  and as a real substance.  I’ve always loved water…Been a bit of a “water baby”!    I had only been sitting down for a short while when a man approached me, explaining that he was from “The Oldie” Magazine, and asking “Would I be willing to be interviewed?”  Well, I had, as it happens, heard of  The Oldie Magazine, but only because a writer  who brought “London Downpour” from me last year happened to be attending one of their events in London, and I needed to drop the painting off there for collection.   This was just as well, as I don’t think I would have said  yes if I had  not recognised the name of the magazine.

Nigel Fountain…What a great name… For me to be interviewed by Nigel Fountain on the edge of the Thames, and to have the painting “London Downpour” connected in my mind with The Oldie Magazine, is something which makes my heart smile a little… I am a great believer in taking the time both to talk and to listen, and so this was handy for him, as I gave him a great deal of my time.  It was so nice to be interviewed by someone so good at doing it well, and I feel very grateful for the opportunity to share some of my life experiences with him.  I was very open about my life experiences, which I am not always… but I follow my instincts in matters such as these, and I feel in a place myself where the traumatic nature of quite a lot of my earlier life really does seem a very long way away.  Though I work through some of the issues in psychotherapy/psychoanalysis,  the fact that I have been able to work my way through them is starting to pay dividends in my ability to talk about them in a reflective and thought out way.  It helps me to appreciate other people too.

Surprisingly, I find,  engaging in psychotherapy  is not a selfish endeavour.  It is self focused,  but time invested in listening to one’s self is probably something we should all do a great deal more of.   Being able to see yourself compassionately yet also critically, in a constructive way,  can be also a way to allow more compassion into your heart when looking at other people’s life experiences.    Why do we shy away from others pain and suffering?  Why do we fear the vulnerability in each other, and make so many efforts to hide our common tears?  Maybe because we have not faced our own pains and sorrows?

I am writing this now very deliberately having not seen yet what Nigel Fountain has written!  This is important to me because as a writer myself, I am interested to see how what I write now relates to what he writes when I get hold of it  in just over a month (today as I write this   is 22nd March). It is rather risky to talk very freely to journalists.  Having had three other local paper journalists write articles on me over the last few years,   I am very aware indeed of how their individual perspectives colour their work.  You trust them to re form what you give them, and  you do not know if their own distortions, which are bound to be there, are going to give a likeness which you feel ok about.   But I was so impressed with his interview technique I am quite confident he will do an excellent job, and if I don’t like it, it is his work, not mine.

I also really like the whole idea of what he does…Going around and interviewing random people…listening to their stories and making a piece of writing out of them.   These chance encounters happen to us all the time in life.  Just investing that little bit more time to find out about someone and to somehow allow them to open up a little more than they might do in a rushed interaction.  Making time to make a connection with someone else, simply by showing an interest.    It is much easier to flick on your mobile phone or tablet and interact with that.  How many opportunities to communicate will our gadgets and technology close down for us, I wonder?

Note:  Since writing the above, the article has been published, and it is a most excellent piece of writing.  I am delighted, and it is by far the most accomplished piece of writing about me I have experienced so far.    I feel rather privileged to have met the man and been interviewed, and also to have his writing skill used in sketching an impression of my life with such a perceptive and acute penning!  My most favourite bit…Will need to do a painting in response to it, I think:

“I contemplate the north bank of the Thames and Jenny, scratching her chin, avoids looking born-again”  Quote from “Brief Encounters – Nigel Fountain looks at the lives of others” published in The Oldie magazine, June, 2014

I looked into “The Oldie” which has been described as the spiritual successor to Punch and was set up in 1992 by Richard Ingrams.  It’s aim was ” to “produce an antidote to youth culture but, more importantly, a magazine with emphasis on good writing, humour and quality illustration.”   I want to get hold of a copy now, this sounds very good!   This quote in particular about The Oldie is very enticing: “The most original magazine in the country…..their eclectic embrace of human variety is a monthly rebuke to the formulaic, celebrity led concept of features in our newspapers and magazines.”  The Independent. http://www.the.oldie.magazine.co.uk/about_us/

St Julian of Norwich/The Comforter Painting

Researching Julian of Norwich a while back  led me to the final title of the painting below, which was first called “The Comforter” referencing Christ’s words regarding the Holy Spirit in the New Testament books of John: “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.”  I then expanded the title to include the reference to St Julian of Norwich, because my research and thinking, along with the writing of the poem, made me feel that the two works, though in different mediums, were one.

Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads , sacred art painting religious, spiritual visionary painting, christ centred poetic visual art, The Comforter/St Julian - Jenny Meehan

The Comforter/St Julian – Jenny Meehan
Acrylic, various fillers, acrylic mediums and pigments, and glass beads

Above “The Comforter/St Julian of Norwich”  Painting by Jenny Meehan  

I entered this in the Womens’ Interfaith Network exhibition submission process this year, but it did not get in,  so I am taking this opportunity to show it for now!   I would also like to include the poem I wrote in response to my studies of St Julian of Norwich and also another poem which I found later on by someone called Venetia Carse.

Firstly then, my poem on St Julian of Norwich, which is called “To Saint Julian”

To Saint Julian

 

I had not heard of you,

I had not seen you

Within your four walls

The small rectangle looks out

 

You look within

The walls of your cell rough marked and mottled

Play with the light which moving across the day

Casts itself into interplay with your mind and thinking

On the source of our reason to live

Our reason to live, even within the pain

The darkness we fear around us

Theblackness we all must face when

Forced into our own heart cell

The confines of our place.

 

It is not the now, the then, the will be

It is all three in one small speck

Which running down, splatters, splinters the hardness

Catastrophe brought us a gift in one falling

One who was God, and also was man

And woman? Is this so? If so,my heart cries childishly

For that warm embrace.

the hug, and the softness

The cover, white on your arm , ready to wrap round me.

 

I need the way forward.

In the indistinct marks of the wall which surrounds me

gentle ring, containing all which first took joy

Fear which raged spitting brimstones not from

another world, but from ours

iface the trauma

Know the grief, see the hurt, in the living of life

Is a heart of pain.

Being  wounded is not hard.

All enter into  our own cell.

 

How far I have fallen!

Yet, there is the always the holding.

You are holding,

You circle me.

Containment  of our being.

Able to be as  we are in you.

And not despised.

Light changes, it changes everything

Every image alters,

In the light.

I look back to you , St Julian, in the refuge you took

Because life is not easy.

“All is well”  your voice comes to me

Not as platitude, nor  peace,

Rather as hope, because His love is better than life

We look beyond, look through, and look within.

Our search is not in vain.

life hits hard each tender soul that struggles forward,

Clothed in the flesh that does not cover

Our multitude of sins.

see the blows of life on our bodies

But see too

God’s covering.

Within the blood of my new birth

“All IS well”

 

 

And the poem by Venetia Carse:

 

Let me live beyond the limits of my Self,

still in the ‘now’, yet on the edge of time;

eye looking inward, forward, down and through,

seeing always God’s radiance coloured

in the mist, rime, blackthorn, shine.

 

Let me live where Christ, my faith, begins,

where love, confronting fear,

holds candle to the dark;

rejection, rape – bitterness and pain

by this most holy Cross

so forgivingly redeemed.

Should we be asked to travel some dark road,

bruised, disillusioned, life meaningless,

it seems,

may openness to God’s all-giving

grace guide our blind eyes … through.

 

 

And shall we see once more

and sense the joy

in small and patient things;

soft mist, sun warmth

and blackthorn bud;

or glory in a cloud of swallows wings.

Then let us cease to strive

beyond ourselves and live,

content to be, aware

of God’s compassion … and His Love, which sets us free’

with prayer and reverence prepared

to care for Earth’s sad frailty.

 

Venetia Carse – A POEM inspired by Dame Julian of Norwich.   This was published in one of the Julian Magazines, but I cannot remember which one, so apologies for the vague source reference.  I normally ensure I give publication details, but this is the best I can do for this one, for now. 

 

Poetry and Painting

I will post up some of my recent work very soon.  I am enjoying writing some more poetry right now, and also experimenting with painting in response to the poetry.  This seems to be a fitting approach…I feel released from the need to define objects or have explicit pictorial content in the painting,  as can rest, relaxed and chilled, that I have said what I want to say (in language) in the poem.  I can then simply express in visual language the feeling with no obligation to define anything more than my instincts are leading me to.  This is great fun!    I still enjoy painting pictures, and I still enjoy drawing from life, and I still enjoy paintings which have a recognisable subject matter, but I do not feel bound by this.  What  I am doing with my painting is sticking to the heart of what I enjoy the most about it, which is creating significant emotional form, and experimenting with materials, techniques, colours and composition.    I don’t need to do any more than this in one painting.  Drawing IS fundamentally important.  I love it dearly.  Sometimes it meets the painting and sometimes it doesn’t.  I don’t have to prove a thing, just paint.   If someone sees my painting and thinks I cannot draw, so be it.  Not my problem!  (Gosh, I do angst over this matter, again and again!)

I think I probably just need to sit down, look at the strands in my work, identify them and develop them.  At present I have:

Spiritual, poetic, personal painting type work.  Experimenting with the relationships between image and word.  An interest in the spiritual direction and creativity interface, mental health and well being, and trauma recovery.  Using the psychoanalytic approach generally to increase self awareness in my own life and work, and the extremely delightful, wonderful liberating experience of living a life which is as Christ-centred as I can possible make it.

Drawings (mostly life drawing), which I would like to take into painting also.  Just started going along to the Dulwich Art Group about once a month.  Very exciting to paint the figure from life.  Colour, if used will be expressionistic.  Black and white is more appealing initially, as it is the marks I am interested in right now.

Rambling, on this blog.  On and on and on and on.  As long as I can.  Free to do, because of the joy of skimming over the surface, which we are all very good at.  I write, I like to write.  Poet seems too grand a word, but I lean into that direction rather than other genres.  Writing this journal is an indulgence.

An interest in producing and developing/marketing a commercial strand, but one which I still feel has roots I can feel at least a little bit connected to.  This might happen later, as my time is tight with household and family matters.  I make little attempts here and there, but the reality is, other things are more important right now.

A photographic strand, which has completely become black and white, and small, rather than big, both in terms of print size and time spent on it.   I really need to put all my images from the past to good use… I have a lot of work I could use potentially.

And other things too…  I expect.

 

 

Excellent article by Mark Stone at Abstract Critical…

http://abstractcritical.com/article/the-rise-and-rise-of-the-modernist-artist/#comment-457271

A possible response might be … Sort out why you are doing what you are doing for yourself.

 

 

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London. Her website is www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers occasional  art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details.  

Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase. Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s bi-annual  mailing list please email j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date. Also, you could follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way.

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting by Jenny Meehan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery: http://www.photoboxgallery.com/19507

 

“Sacred Spaces”  Exhibition Text Done… (Not proof read yet, so apologies for errors!)  

Rather than have the task hang over me over Easter, I have done, but not dusted, the text for the Leatherhead Art Exhibition in May.

Now I can eat my Easter Egg in peace.

Here it is:

“Sacred Spaces” – Exhibition Introduction

Welcome to this exhibition, which we hope you will enjoy.  On show are examples of work from seven members of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios: Chris Birch, Emily Limna, Jenny Meehan,  Richard Tomlin,  Derek Turner,  Hilary Walker, and Jude Wild. The exhibition has been curated by Jenny Meehan.

The exhibition’s focus is on each artist’s “sacred space” in the sense that in creating, responding to the sensations and images around us, processing our thoughts and emotions  and exploring ourselves and  our experiences through the method of making art works we are discovering a means of creating for ourselves a  “sacred space”.

The title of the exhibition “Sacred Spaces” references the inner lives of the artists , the process of creating artworks,  and evidence  expressed  physically  in the artworks themselves.  In our creation we bring body and substance from our own inner contemplation, reflection and response to life and all we experience,  both internal and external.

“The imagination is fundamental to all human activity; indeed, exercising imagination is the creative and critical, intuitive and integrative process central to human becoming.  It gives us the power to remember the past, to shape our desires, and to project possibilities for the future.” Christine Valters Paintner

 We hope that by investing your time in viewing the exhibition, you too will experience some “Sacred Space” of your own.  Please feel free to contact the artists and offer your feedback if you find the experience of looking helpful.  It is always an encouragement!  All the art work is available to buy.  Please use the purchase form in order to reserve a piece.

 

 

“Sacred Spaces”  –  Exhibition Development Discussion  Summary

Responding to an invitation to exhibit with the theme of contemplation, seven artists from Kingston Artists’ Open Studios met together to discuss their submitted art work and discuss their creative practice and process.  The idea of our working space  (both interior and exterior) being a sacred space was discussed in relation to this.

The word “sacred” descends from the Latin “sacrum” of which “sanctum” is related.  We noted that  the “creative zone”  is akin to the idea of a set apart and, in this sense,  holy, space.  It is a place of playful exploration and experimentation, and one which proves both therapeutic and enlightening.

Engagement with the natural environment, music and silence, intra personal intelligence, and relationship and communication with people are important aspects of our lives which feed into our capacity to create art.  Making space for art working  is an investment in ourselves, and is a means of self expression and self realisation, as we bring form to feeling and thought  in a tangible and material way.  

We all found the task of defining our own creative journeys challenging in the light of the huge amount of distractions and the amount of imagery we are bombarded with in today’s current culture. Some of us work with very regular studio times and others in a more piecemeal fashion. By being intentional, and creating space in our lives through the cultivation of our imaginations and our creative impulses, we can meet our need and desire to make space.  In this space, we find it easier to listen to the depths of experience which call us beyond ourselves.  It may be that this is part of a search for  a greater fullness and sense of meaning, regardless of our particular religious beliefs (or not, if none).  We all value feedback on other peoples responses to our work, recognising that what it can mean in the world will vary according to the viewer and context.  

 The above text has been tweaked and improved but I won’t swop it round… it’s pretty much the same!

Rambling Onwards…

Yes, I am still rambling on about Clyde Hopkins paintings, the reason being it is a good discipline for myself to help identify what and why I like something.  Identifying things in other people’s work which you resonate with and taking the time to mull things over is a very important part of an artist’s working processes.  If you like collecting fine art it will also reward you to take the time to do more looking, in depth, at all kinds of art forms. Your time, so invested, will pay you back in the joy of selecting  pieces of art work which will continue to give something meaningful to you very generously  over a long period of time.   If an art collector looks only to money, they are being robbed!

Clyde Hopkins continues…

I like Clyde’s paintings because they have a balance, which I nearly always go for in my own painting, of both structure and a loss of structure.  What do I mean?  I could use the words geometric and lyrical, or maybe geometric and organic would be better?  Not sure. But simply naturally balanced, as we see in nature… This is pleasing to the eye, more than one or the other.  A lily has strong structure, and also soft and gentle undulations.  Beauty has both.  I always fall for beauty.  I am a romantic, expressive, even though it isn’t  very “clever” to be so.   I just love it!  And, as I said in my last post, painting should be pleasing to the eye, as well as challenging and stimulating.

600px_clyde-hopkins-fiveacre-2011

 

Copyright Clyde Hopkins.  Reproduced with the permission of the artist, Clyde Hopkins

Above is is another stunning example,  “Five Acre” and below is “Gastropodus”, 2012  Oil on Linen, 70 x 55cm

With “Five Acre” I am thinking of cracking and breaking up, (sometimes in real life we do a bit!!!)  but balanced with growth potential in those bean-like tree-like shapes.   Old trees and little seeds.  And there is a bit of an aerial view of some fields going on in my imagination, if I need to be literal and start applying the words of the title to my own way of seeing the painting.   Those colours just bring me joy.  That’s a great thing to get from a painting for those in the world that don’t see the point of painting, or at least, don’t value it.  (That’s a little “grump” of mine,  I guess!)

 

Gastropodus Clyde Hopkins

Gastropodus Clyde Hopkins

Gastropodus Clyde Hopkins detail

Gastropodus Clyde Hopkins detail

 

Both images above are copyright Clyde Hopkins.  Permission was granted from the artist Clyde Hopkins for the use of this image.

I am very pleased to have an image of the detail.  It shows you how that mesh of friendly edged dots is made.   It does irritate the eyes I think, but I don’t use the word “irritate” in a negative sense.  It is maybe more in that the brokenness draws attention to the unbroken areas of colour.  It’s the same material; paint. Of course it is!  But takes on a completely different nature from the flowing substance which floods into the other painted areas.  I like the contrast very much.  Note to self:  Experiment with perceived textures!

Thinking: Water.  Solids.  Flux and Stasis.

“Stasis”  “A state of stability, in which all forces are equal and opposing, therefore they cancel out each other”

But we can experience stasis without the cancellation.  It’s all there, thankfully.

I have a bit of a “thing” in my own painting with rocks and water.  Maybe it’s a similar kind of interest?

It’s an interesting area there on the lower left.  Maybe a kind of assertive, “I can do what I want”  or maybe an earlier state in the process which is allowed to be?  It’s less formalised, but has enough in common to not look out of place, though it is different.

Flicking From One Painting to Another…

I am always flicking from one thing to another… Sometimes  when I am talking, I have to make myself remember I have this bad habit!  Writing, I have just warned you of it!

I am finding myself remembering some paintings by Willi Baumeister which |I looked at years ago and found most significant and helped me to think about a change in direction in my own painting from realist and very tied to the external environment to the more symbolic and internal.

Here is some information from the useful wikipedia:

“Towards the end of the 1920s, the shapes in Baumeister’s pictures grew softer. His paintings moved away from being oriented by the elementary shapes of the circle, triangle, and square towards organic forms. Although this development could also be observed concurrently in the work of other artists of his time, in Baumeister’s case, it was tied to his fascination for the prehistoric and archaic paintings. Baumeister intensely explored artifacts of early paintings and integrated this pictorial experience into his own painting. He identified the symbols, signs, and figures of cave painting as components of a valid archaic pictorial language that he used in his works. These included his increasing number of paintings in “oil on sand on canvas” that, in their materials, also approached the cave painting that Baumeister so admired (beg. ca. 1933). He himself collected examples of prehistoric findings, small sculptures, and tools, and occupied himself with cliff drawings that had been discovered in Rhodesia. This experience was undoubtedly important for Baumeister’s artistic disposition since he, evidently inspired by this rich store of prehistoric works, ultimately used extraordinarily reduced organic shapes for his “ideograms” (beg. ca. 1937). In these works he used a unique world of signs, which he saw as symbols for the laws of nature, their evolution, and human existence.”

A good link here also:  http://www.archiv-baumeister.org/index.php?getlang=en&menuid=66&reporeid=383&template=

There’s lots more of interest to be found regarding Wili Baumeister on Wikipedia,  but I l hone in on this as I mentally relate the memory of Bluxao V  to those of Clyde Hopkin’s paintings I have come across recently.  I can also, and indeed to some of my own painting experiments.   Many of my hidden  paintings which I have never shown publicly or on the internet,  are very bare boned in the symbolic…but because they took so little time to paint, I tend to keep them to myself, as they help me somehow in reminding me not to get too complicated!

I digress, most purposefully, to my most favourite Baumeister painting…  Willi Baumeister “Bluxao V”, 1955

Willi Baumeister Bluxao V 1955

Willi Baumeister Bluxao V 1955

 

I am unable to locate the source of the image, so..my rationale for using here follows:

fair use rationale
There is no alternative, public domain or free-copyrighted replacement image available.
Its inclusion in the article(s) adds significantly to the article(s) because it shows the subject (or the work of the subject) of the article(s).
Inclusion is for information, education and analysis only. The text discussing the significance of this art work is enhanced by inclusion of the image.
The image is a low resolution copy of the original work of such low quality that it will not affect potential sales of the art work.

I love this painting.  It set me free.  It resonated in all the right places!  It seems to bring me to the core of myself.  I like the way the edges of some of the paint areas look torn. I love the shadow pool of darker blue that floats below the definition.  This painting told me I could do what I wanted with paint!

Yes, this painting  helped me immensely.  I did not participate in any Fine Art Degree course,  which I think would have muddled my mind with words and concepts more than anything else (though, to be fair, as I have not been, I do not know!)  This means that I do not assume any interest in my own painting beyond immediate response, which is a personal matter.  I have not been taught that people should be able to access my work without any need for me to attempt to make it more accessible, and it is partly for this reason I write my journal.   I have had to develop my own inner determination without the validation of others around me, however, I have had some key people who I respect very much  affirm  that there is something rather worthwhile at work in me in the painting department, and this has helped me to go with the flow of painting as a focus.  It has kind of just happened anyway, I don’t think it could be any other way.  As well as some good short courses at West Dean College along the way, it is my encounters with the  paintings and artworks of others which have ended up being some of my most helpful travelling companions.  Bluxao V is one of those which stands out from the crowd, and waved me on at a key moment.  This is the painting which told me that my inner determination could take me a long way if I let it!  It taught me that  painting in anyway you want is completely legitimate  It was  a liberation to stumble across Bluxao V on the internet and see that colour arrangement and composition without any explicit or obvious external references could offer the viewer  and carry  the viewer,  into an experience through the eyes,  straight down to the soul.  An elemental matter.

My own degree being taken later in life, and in Literature, rather than painting, is a good thing.  Apart from the fellowship of other painters,  which is always a good thing,  because we need to learn from each other,  I wonder if I would have taken away more confusion, rather than clarity, from study at degree level in Fine Art.   Too much theory maybe.  Too much Science.  One needs to locate oneself  in the making.  This is not something which can be taught.

Back to the Clyde Hopkins paintings.   Which I like because they resonate with me.

Only the artist themselves hold the essence of their painting,  in their hearts.  We should never forget this, when we talk about painting, particularly if we are talking about what it might “mean” and it if “matters”.   I read the paintings with my eyes and my experiences colouring the work.  They are transformed and re created in my own eyes.  I feel I have almost trespassed over them by passing comment.  I wonder if I ought to be passing comment at all.   But some paintings are generous in their giving… and do possess an authority.  This makes me want to comment.  It makes it worth taking the risk of using words.   I always have strong reactions to the paintings I come across.  I am certain, to the core, if something is strong or weak.  I am unashamedly subjective, and cannot see how anyone else cannot see how fantastic something is when I see it clearly.  So,  while I will not apologise for this, I must just insert that of course I do realise that I may be temporarily blinded by my own enthusiastic response.  It’s a great way to get blinded though.  And if it rings “true” then it has done its work for me.

I also like very much the comparison of music and painting.    Things can be in tune, and out.  Things make nice sounds, unusual sounds, random and jazzy sounds, but you can tell if something comes together or not.  I will always be traditional in my liking for balance, order, and things which are pleasing to the eye.  Challenging, not completely comfortable, necessarily, but have a sense of some hard working behind them.  You sense there is an inner logic working away.  But there is enough mystery to keep you interested.   I think also that I appreciate these paintings because I have started to experiment with colour more, and so I appreciate the particular process of balancing one against the other.  I can appreciate the achievement.  I can recognise the delivery, and admire them for that.

Baker Tilly in Guildford.

I need to sort these prints out soon.  The prints which will be on show at Baker Tilly are signed on reverse with both my signatures.  I have two signatures, one is a combination of my initials and the other my usual signature which I use in daily life.  I tend to sign paintings just with the combination of my initials and prints with both.  But it depends on the work.  I always use my initials signature, for all my work now.  I like the way it can be used on any material, for example, clay and even stone, quite easily.

Here is another one of the “Signs of the Times” Series for you to see:

Put Your Point Across by Jenny Meehan, Signs of the times series abstract prints geometric, jenny meehan fine artist print, uk female 21st century artist,

Put Your Point Across by Jenny Meehan

I also now have available selected prints from the “Signs of the Times” series on my Photobox Gallery.  The Photobox Gallery is a handy facility for enabling people to buy my prints in a quick, easy and affordable way.  The prints I describe as “Poster Prints” because they are not signed and checked by me, but I am very confident about the quality.  They are in fact  A2 and A3 sized laser prints…So, they are photographic quality…by this, I mean they are printed on archival quality photographic paper using a chemical process, rather than ink-jet prints.  Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/19507

 There are other options for different types of prints on the Photobox Gallery, but at the present time I am restricting the distribution of my work over the Photobox Gallery to just A2 and A2 laser prints.   However, if you do want something specific, just contact me with your requirements and I am completely free, (thanks to not limiting these images to “limited edition”) to arrange to have prints made to varying specifications and to be signed and numbered.

Researching

I have found lots of interest in my time spent looking at the idea of Susanne Langer.  What interesting ideas…  She argued that man is basically a symbol-using animal and that symbolic thought is deeply rooted in human nature.  Kind of flows in with my love of the symbolic right now!  She thought that symbolic thought is the keynote to questions of life and consciousness:  “Art is the creation of forms symbolic of human feeling,” (Susanne Langer). In her thinking works of art don’t directly express the experienced emotions but do express and “idea” of emotion. Susanne Langer thought  that “music articulates forms which language cannot set forth”.  It shows what cannot be said. Well indeed.  It is always so good to hear it again though!

Artists create virtual objects, illusions. For example,  music creates an auditory apparition of time, “virtual time,” and  in painting “virtual space” is the primary illusion.  Poets (and fiction writers) create appearances of events, persons, emotional reactions and places: they are  “poetic semblances.” She notes that  musical forms bear a close logical resemblance to the forms of human feelings.  So music is a “presentational symbol” of psychic process.  Its tonal structures bear a close logical similarity to the forms of feeling, “forms of growth and of attenuation, flowing and stowing, conflict and resolution, speed, arrest, terrific excitement, calm, or subtle activation and dreamy lapses.”  (Now… That IS interesting, I was thinking along those lines with the Signs of the Times when I was working on them).   The symbol and the object symbolized have a common logical form.  Susanne Langer distinguishes art as symbol – the work of art as an indivisible whole – from symbols in art, which are elements of the work and often have a literal meaning.  This is an  unconventional use of the term “symbol”  maybe, but I like it a lot!

Some Recent Paintings by Jenny Meehan 2014

 

 

Bright and Breezy" Jenny Meehan Acrylic and Oil Painting, jenny meehan abstract colourist expressionistic, modernist lyrical abstraction,female british uk 21st century artist jenny meehan, contemporary painters in uk,

Bright and Breezy” Jenny Meehan Acrylic and Oil Painting
There’s a little memory from childhood of a tuft of a tree growing on the edge of a cliff

 

 

Well, just one for now.  And here is the tuft which I placed.  (The little red and blue areas on the top left).  The resilience of which is astounding and admirable!  This made me think of a childhood visit to  Combe Martin Bay.  On the rocks around the bay is some tufty kind of tree or bush growing in a place where you think nothing would grow or be able to stand the elements.  But I was amazed last year when I saw it was still there.  I remember it as a child, and it is STILL there!  It was rather moving to see the amazing tuft in it’s impossible place.

combe martin bay tuft devon jenny meehan

combe martin bay tuft devon jenny meehan

 

There it is!

 

Acrylic Paint used with Oil Paint on the same painting – Technical Considerations

I have previously rejected the whole idea of combining an acrylic under painting with oils on top.  Somehow the two materials seem to cry out against each other, oil being so forgiving and flexible, so oily and natural feeling, and acrylics being so plastic!  But having spent several years experimenting with the qualities of both, I guess it was inevitable that the day would come when I would seek to reconcile these two opposing forces.  Just out of curiosity as much as anything else!  I don’t plan to do this long term but believe it good to try out new things from time to time.

Experiments so far have been very pleasing.  I would not use an acrylic under painting for an oil on any large canvas, but all mine are 50 x 70cm and under right now.   There are several advantages in using an under painting of acrylic paint and then using oil paint on top. It’s not always possible for me to paint in long, uninterrupted sessions, due to the nature of my studio space, (kitchen studio!) so getting some initial painting done with acrylics is much easier as it can be done in a more piecemeal fashion with less mess.  But the quick drying of acrylics, while sometimes a blessing, is a pain when it comes to having time to mull over the painting and a pain also when mixing colours…I like to leave colours I have mixed around both on the mixing board and the painting itself, in order to think about them, and adjust in slow and gradual stages, but unless I want to spend the day with a water sprayer in hand, this just cannot happen with acrylics. I also like to use the same colour over several days, and this is much easier to do with oils.  You can get slow drying acrylics and retarders, and also “stay wet” palettes,  but I think it’s best to go with the nature of the paints you are using, and not try and make them something they naturally are not.

Using oils for  some  of the uppermost layer  also brings some gloss to parts of the painting surface which with abstract paintings can be utilised in an interesting way.   I don’t use the oils for a complete covering of the acrylic, just for some parts of the painting.   I might decide to even over the finished painting with a thin picture or retouching varnish suitable for both oils and acrylics, or maybe just leave some of the matt or semi-matt acrylic as it is and let the oil, with it’s rather more glossy surface, sing along in variation.  Using medium (turps and linseed) with the oil makes it heavenly to apply and ensures it is well bound.  Using the oil paint undiluted brings some nice buttery texture into the work and is so much lovelier to use and probably works out cheaper too than heavy body acrylics.  I only use small areas of thicker undiluted oil paint on top of the acrylic.

I don’t use the oil diluted with white spirit on top of the acrylic as I feel there would be too much risk of the paint not being sufficiently bound, and therefore loose.   It would be different if painting just with oils…A slightly loose under painting would soon be resolved by the layers above it and by a final application of varnish if need be.  Also, my abstract paintings when painted with an acrylic bottom layer, often have a great variety of surfaces, thickness, and finish, (even sometimes glossy areas) and the use of medium in the oil paint makes a great deal of difference to the success of combining the acrylic layer with the oil paint on top.    I’ve just done a few for the time being, as experiments, but so far they are looking good.   I don’t think I would feel happy about using lots of oil paint over the acrylic paints on a flexible canvas of a large size.   I think it far better to stick to using a rigid support if working larger than 50 x 70 cm because of the difference between the two types of paint.   I have found so far that smaller canvas’  are easy to keep firmly stretched and I am thinking that if any problems did arise (which I don’t think will be the case, but I still consider the possibility) it would be easy to remove the canvas from the stretcher bars and simply bond onto a rigid board backing.

Technical considerations when using acrylic paint and oil paint in one painting are important and should always be born in mind.  My philosophy is do what you want but know what you are doing and what the possible consequences might be.  While I am not imagining conservators working on any of my paintings in the times to come, I do certainly want to be sure that people buying my paintings will have something which is technically sound.   If my paintings change a bit over time, that’s fine.  There is a kind of beauty in that anyway.  If bits start falling off and the whole thing endures some kind of painting personality change, then this is not good, and disappointing for everyone!  I am very strict about my pigments… The colours really do need to stand the test of time.   I also spend a great deal of time (probably far too much) testing out different combinations of layers of materials, different mixtures and different proportions of binders, fillers, textural materials and pigments…I just love it!  I find some useful things out  through it too!  One of the most useful things is that you need to test out the qualities of your materials for yourself, because proportions of ingredients are not usually stated and different brands make quite different products with the same or similar names!

The most important point about using acrylics and oils in one painting is of course that you won’t be mixing the two together!  And the other major point is that the  acrylic paint must go on the bottom, and not be placed over the top of the oil paint.   Oil paint oxidises as it dries and when fully dry is very hard and rigid.  Acrylic paints  are  softer by nature, but the extent of  this would vary depending on the quality of the acrylic paint.  Acrylic paint with a lot of filler is logically  not going to be as hard as one which has a greater percentage of acrylic binder. Generally the higher quality the acrylic paint the glossier it looks, because acrylic binder is glossy by nature.   High quality acrylic will still be sufficiently hard to make a good base for the oil paint.  It is worth noting that emulsion paints with a high proportion of acrylic resin are used in exterior decorating applications, and this is because the acrylic resin is tough and makes the paint harder and more durable.  It’s also worth noting that paints labelled  “Acrylic paint” should be just that, but I have found, (through testing,) that with some products,  the dried so called “acrylic” medium or paint sometimes actually makes rather a soft and flexible layer, which suggests that the proportion of acrylic in the paint is questionable.

All the commercially made so called modern “gessos” nowadays are acrylic based…Think along the lines of acrylic resin based medium plus chalk or a similar filler and that’s a good enough idea of what you are getting.   The more chalk (calcium carbonate) in the “gesso” the more absorbent your ground is.  (The softer too, though also more matt)  It is now a standard practice for painters to use canvas coated in layers of acrylic modern type gesso and then paint on the top of it with oil paints.  So another layer of thin high quality acrylic paint on the bottom layer is not going to make a great deal of difference.  It won’t be so absorbent, but this may be what you want.  Even neat acrylic is micro-porous and I have not experienced any problems with adhesion of oil paints on top so far.

What IS important is that the acrylic is totally dry  I mean dry and cured!  I play it  safe and wait  two weeks even for a thin acrylic under painting.  For a painting with  slightly thicker areas and textures, I wait at least four months.  If I don’t want to wait, then I just stick to using either acrylics OR oils…It is easier to paint layers over existing layers of the SAME kind of paint as you know you will retain the integrity of layers more easily.  Sometimes  I will use an isolating layer of acrylic based varnish over the acrylic painting and then use the oil on top. Varnishes tend to be of a more reliable quality with respect to the amount of acrylic in them than many paints do, because they are specifically made to be hard and protective.  Logically they would make a better match with the oil paint in terms of rigidity, and I have not found any problems with the oil adhesion to the acrylic based varnishing products I have used, as yet.   This is useful if I have been using loose acrylics (which I do deliberately sometimes!) and/or I want the surface well sealed, maybe because I don’t intend to varnish the painting at all when it is completed with the final areas in oil.  I have done this with paintings using acrylics and oils on both rigid substrates and canvas, with no complications, though all of them have been under 50 x 70 cm.  They had some textured areas and because I had used a variety of different textures and quantities of filler, I felt it best to provide a surface which was a little more uniform to receive the oil paint.  So one or two layers of a quality matt or satin acrylic varnish makes a great isolating layer between the acrylic paint and the oil paint.  I have not found this to be a problem at all.

You read a lot on the internet that a rigid surface  is always  preferable for doing a painting with an acrylic bottom layer and an oil top one, because of the need to reduce any flexibility in the acrylic layer, but I have found no issues arising with my own acrylic paintings on canvas, though I do keep the top oil layer fairly thin, use plenty of medium and don’t use great slathers of thick oil paint on large areas of the painting. I tend to use the oil paint for parts of the painting, rather than one continuous layer, and I find this makes for a very exciting surface on abstract paintings.  It is certainly worth a try and I think opens up some interesting experiences as a painter, and I am glad personally that I have stepped out in this direction with my abstract paintings, as it utilises the fine qualities of both the types of paint very well indeed.

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms  and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.

Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s bi-annual  mailing list please email j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.

Also, you could follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

I would be very pleased if you would  choose to “follow” the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed of what I am up to this way.   Just press  the “follow” button and pop in your email address.  You determine how often you get updates and you don’t need a WordPress account to follow Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.  I don’t have a Facebook page as yet, and won’t be on Twitter.  So this is the best way to follow my art practice.  Though I ramble on, I try to organise things for easy skimming, so you can pick and choose according to your own interests quite easily!    

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

Notice regarding my use of images on my Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal blog:   I always try and contact the relevant artist if I include images of their work on my blog and make clear the source.  Where images are taken from other websites, I make it my practice to  cite the source and normally include a link to the place where the image was found.  When I include images I do so in the belief that this will not cause commercial harm to the copyright holder. I  believe that this is fair use  and does not infringe copyright.  Images are used in order for me to comment and reference them in relation to my own creative and artistic practice.  When I include extracts of text, I also do so with the understanding that again, this is permissible under the widely accepted fair usage terms with respect to copyright.

Oliver Mc Ternan – Finding Sense in a Complex World: The Need for a Spiritual Paradigm

Well, it is along way back now, but on Thursday 9th January I made my way to Westminster Cathedral Hall SW1P 0QJ for an event organised by “Silence in the City”.  (www.silenceinthecity.org.uk)  As part of my creative practice this year (and probably many years to come, I hope) I am going to invest more time into the practice of contemplative Christian centred prayer and meditation, and I was very pleased to find an organisation like Silence in the City who organise regular events with speakers and also with a time of silent prayer and reflection.    To my dismay, I realised I was pen and paperless, but tried out my mobile phone’s swipe facility for note taking.  Urm, it was good, very fast,  but problematic when it got the occasional word wrong!  Returning to correct some errors was essential, and this took a protracted amount of time.  However, I did manage to record a few things!  Silence in the City do produce recordings of the talks they host, so if you are interested then go to the www.silenceinthecity.org.uk website and enquire.  http://www.silenceinthecity.org.uk/

(My notes here are very piecemeal, and miss out huge chunks, particularly when I ended up fiddling around with the mis types of the swype!)

What I came away with, that which stays most prominently in my mind is the importance of keeping open communication with others even when we don’t agree, and the importance of patience and perseverance when there is a breakdown of communication and the potential for conflict.   Oliver is particularly involved in east west relations and conflict resolutions.  I also note his comments concerning the fact that religion has an ambiguity towards violence, and also that peace processes often fail because the religious factor has been ignored.  He stressed the need to understand religious motivations and adopt a mindset which can understand the other in the sacred spaces where we are able to connect with what we find in common.  People can have a spiritual sense of what life is about which is shared, even if there is disagreement over certain matters. There is always a place on a human level where we can connect with each other.    He also talked about how we have grown to privatise our faith, but that faith places an obligation on us to shape the world and to see that each person is able to live in the justice that God intended them to experience.   How we define our spirituality should not stop us responding with sensitivity and awareness to what is going on around us.  This is the real mark of the spiritual.   We tend to try and stay in our comfort zone but need to embrace the unpredictability of God.    It’s very easy to be tempted by reasonable arguments and a sense of righteousness which can stop us from relating with people on a human level.  We cannot circumvent the painful moments in the lives of others.  He noted that the spiritual framework can be symbolised very well in the sign of the cross…  the line travels both horizontally and vertically… relationally it is something which needs to happen both ways.  The divine and the human.

Contemplation  and Contemplation/Garden of Gethsemane 

contemplative pray,garden of Gethsemane, oil painting christian artist painter,spirituality painting expression,expressive abstraction, jenny meehan contemporary female painter

A recent painting… I am pleased with this as it seems to flow in a bit of a stream of my work which I feel runs true to the main current. It makes me feel the way I feel when I look at a painting by Corot, which is good with me, as I love his painting!

It’s on linen, 40x60cm in size, painted in oils. I soon begun to think along the lines of the Garden of Gethsemane, but kept the title more open. Gethsemane means literally “oil press” though, which I find an attractive thought. Maybe I will end up doing what I often do and giving it two titles!  So Contemplation/Garden of Gethsemane.   I think the title of a painting is very important, and sometimes emerges in phases.  I’m starting to rest on the two titles together.  On the one hand I like the title not to reveal too much, because I feel if someone wants it very much, then it would almost need them to re-title it, so what is the point of making the title more particular!  On the other hand, I feel it might be interesting to hint at the meaning of the work for me.  So the general and the particular in a title is good. 

Andy Goldsworthy 14 chalk stones  on the West Dean Estate and “Chalk Lump” painting

As time goes by, my own participation in psychoanalysis, more time spent working with painting, and more focus on centring myself firmly within my faith and Christ-centred contemplative practice, is all contributing to a much deeper and richer experience of life.  Still scattered with the same boulders, some within and some without. Thinking on the boulder, lump and stone theme makes me  think now of my painting “Chalk Lump” painted at West Dean College during a painting course taught by John T Freeman.  Here it is: 

Chalk Lump on West Dean Estate by Jenny Meehan, oil painting british 21st century, british female uk painter semi abstract,semi abstract ivon hitches influenced painting,romantic lyrical abstraction meehan,

Chalk Lump on West Dean Estate by Jenny Meehan
Oil on Canvas

I found out after painting this painting that  Andy Goldsworthy made 14 chalk stones of approximately 6 foot diameter and placed them in chosen locations along a five mile trail on the South Downs between West Dean Gardens and Cocking Hill. (in 2002 I think)  This painting was painted from (or rather, based very loosely!) on a sketch drawn from observation of the scene before me, as I looked out from the front of West Dean and over towards the chalk stone.  I have wondered if I should change the title to “Chalk Stone” to make the relationship with what it was based on clearer, but I like the “lump” because it expresses an emotional blockage and makes me think of a “lump in the throat”  and is therefore more accurate  in that respect.  I have other paintings of Andy Goldsworthy’s chalk stone at West Dean which I painted at that time and also afterwards, because as a motif I like it very much.  Something just there, incongruous but present.

A “lump in the throat” is described in medical terms as “globus”  and it used to describe the sensation of a lump in the throat where no true lump exists. It was once called Globus Hystericus,  and is sometimes also referred to as Globus pharyngeus.  It is related to many things, two of them being stress and tiredness. I am experiencing globus quite lot myself at the moment, and I do think emotional tension and trouble expressing grief and deep sadness may be related to it.  A kind of holding in of emotional tension which needs to be expressed.  Some people experience a lot of trauma in life, from a very young age,  and this can accumulate and cause problems later  if the emotions and thinking are not worked through and faced.  In the process of working through the tangle (via psychotherapy),  sometimes a backlog of grief builds up, and you feel it.  This is my thinking on the emotional “lump in the throat” matter.   It doesn’t worry me…I have learnt to embrace it as part of my experience, and I think, used in the right way, these odd ways our bodies express themselves can be helpful to us if we heed their complaining and act accordingly.  For me, it is more rest, less doing, more chance to allow my emotions to have their own say in things a bit more then they usually get as I rush from A to B and try and achieve more than I need to!

Concerning the  external “stones”, these things will always be here, things which block and get in the way of love, of truth, of the light. But maybe, with a commitment to the truth, to seeking truth, through living with as much integrity as we can, time will wear them down, and we, in some way, may help the process by choosing to love, in and through all.  

On the psychoanalysis/art topic, this looks great…  The text is from the Freud Museum  website and a few other places!

Psychoanalysis and Artistic Process

Grayson Perry in conversation with Valerie Sinason

A celebration of the launch of a Special Edition of Free Associations:  “The journal, Free Associations, is delighted to announce the launch of a special edition edited by Patricia Townsend on the theme of ‘Psychoanalysis and Artistic Process’”

Grayson Perry won the Turner Prize in 2003 and delivered the 2013 BBC Reith lectures. His major exhibition The Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman was shown at the British Museum in 2011-12. He has exhibited his ceramics, sculptures, prints and textiles widely for 30 years and has also written a weekly arts column for the Times and made radio and television documentaries. Valerie Sinason is a poet, author, child and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. She is Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies and Honorary Consultant Psychotherapist to the Cape Town Child Guidance Unit.

The Special Edition includes articles by Kenneth Wright, Lesley Caldwell, Sharon Kivland and Patricia Townsend, transcripts of talks by Grayson Perry, Martin Creed and Valerie Sinason and an afterword by Juliet Mitchell.

More information here:

 http://www.freud.org.uk/events/75386/psychoanalysis-and-artistic-process/

It’s fully booked now, so I have missed the boat.

The conference ‘Psychoanalysis and Artistic Process – a day of dialogues between artists and psychoanalysts’ took place on 25th February 2012 at University College London.

The speakers were:

Session 1: Kenneth Wright and Sharon Kivland
Session 2: Grayson Perry and Valerie Sinason
Session 3: Martin Creed and Lesley Caldwell

More here:  http://vimeo.com/user11474015

 

Artists Hiring Out Galleries versus Alternative Exhibition/Gallery Spaces

For those with the cash in their pocket to spend, it is possible to rent a gallery and many people do this.   Many galleries need to hire space out in order to run and it is part of their business.   Prices vary and I thought I would include this useful list for anyone who is fortunate enough to have the cash to spend on such a venture:

http://www.galleries.co.uk/g-ts2.htm

It’s worth bearing in mind that it is the space and the services of the gallery you get and usually that is pretty much it.  There may be a little advertising in the organisations existing framework, but it’s up to you to promote your work…So you still do the hard work.   And while giving you a nice platform to display yourself and your work,  and maybe a good venue address for your CV…and good experience of exhibiting…  it is possible to get experience of exhibiting your work in other ways, ie through open studios, art fairs,  and approaching restaurants, hotels, bars, theatres, community organisations and community centres, etc.     These alternative venues may not have the perceived “status” of a gallery in a London setting,  but everyone in the know knows which galleries are hired out to artists in this way, and so no extra value will be placed on your work by showing at a hired space.  The only possible benefit would be that it would demonstrate the way that you value your own work, which is a good thing, and also possibly that you have money to spend on such ventures.  It may also be perceived by those who know nothing of how this system works, as being an endorsement that your work is of particular worth.  So if you are in a position to do it, it is probably worth considering.  However, I wanted to add this into my journal because it is very easy to become disheartened if you are an artist with little or no disposable income…it is easy to feel that doors are closed to you if you don’t have the cash.  However, this is not the case, and one should persist in seeking open doors…They do exist, and if you look for opportunities to show and share what you do, they will come.  You seek them, and you offer your art as a service, which it is.  Be creative!

Arrogance Abounds….

Couldn’t resist showing this.  Sad.  Hard to imagine if this person is looking around them?

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/news/whats-the-biggest-problem-with-women-artists-none-of-them-can-actually-paint-says-georg-baselitz-8484019.html

Well, as a pleasant change and in order to read something more interesting and intelligent, take a look here:

http://www.thewhitereview.org/interviews/interview-with-tess-jaray/

Leatherhead Theatre “Sacred Spaces”  Exhibition 

Miyajima by Hilary Walker

Miyajima by Hilary Walker


Hilary Walker

I’ve been interested in photography for many years. I like the immediacy of a photograph and how it can tell a story. I think that the relationship between the image and the artist is a subtle one with photography; the photograph itself is often (but not always) very representational and perhaps could be seen as little to do with the artist compared to a painting or a drawing. However, the photographer is very influential in the final result. They choose the viewpoint of the photograph, the scale, colour intensity and contrast, the composition and the main focus of the image. Sometimes I manipulate the original a great deal so that it becomes an abstract piece. With these photographs I kept the realism to the fore to emphasise that this is not about the artist as such, more about the people who use these things to relate spiritually to their world

Forms created by animals and the natural world underlie most of Hilary’s work: in particular the way shape and colour interact with each other. She uses her photographs to create images that can range from naturalistic to highly abstract. Hilary embraces a very wide spectrum of ways to express her ideas creatively. She has produced work using acrylics, watercolour, etching and relief printing, pencil, photography, and most recently, the iPad.

“To me, it doesn’t really matter what medium I use; I don’t specialise in that way. If the medium is right for the idea I want to express or the effect I want to create then I use it, it’s as simple as that.”

She has always been inspired by Japan, both by its culture and the landscape itself. After visiting the country, she has created a portfolio of photographs to reflect the deeply spiritual nature of Japan, its people and culture. Hilary’s work can be found on her website: http://www.hilarywalker.co.uk


Icy Landscape - Jenny Meehan

Icy Landscape – Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan

The two process led paintings I am showing stem from my imagination, and reference both present and past visual and emotional experiences. The process of building up the painting is slow, which means on some days I might only add a couple of marks! The analytical reviewing of the works formal elements and time spent simply looking at the work to determine how it resonates emotionally is part of a contemplative practice requiring openness and reflection. This is true of all my paintings, even those more figurative, but especially so with non-objective or highly abstracted paintings. I draw on my own subconscious in an attempt to locate some of my most central concerns, emotions, and thinking. As the paintings develop, subject matter emerges, which you can see reflected in the titles.

I am also exhibiting a black and white digital print which is an example of another strand in my work through which I delight in the pattern and dramatic impact of the natural world and its forms, which ultimately initiate and enlighten the imagination for even the deepest inner thoughts and images.

Human experience, emotion, and my own personal life journey form the centre of my work. The brokenness of human experience fascinates me, as well as the potential for growth and renewal.

After a BA Honours (Literature) in 1994 and a PGCE in 1995 I taught in Primary Education. I now use teaching skills integrated with nine years experience as an artist to occasionally offer tuition in painting and drawing.  I am based in Chessington, Surrey, and I exhibit widely across the UK.

Painting is the main strand in my practice, but I am also involved in applied arts and design, digital imagery, printmaking and writing. I always seek creative and innovative ways to experiment with existing skills and knowledge. Curating and organising this exhibition on behalf of KAOS is part of my ongoing professional development. You can see more of my work and exhibition history on my website: www.jamartlondon.com  and read about my activities on my blog: http://www.jennymeehan.wordpress.com

art at leatherhead theatre KAOS kingston artists' open studios exhibition Geranium Johnsons Blue cyanotype by EmilyLimna

Geranium Johnsons Blue cyanotype by EmilyLimna

Emily Limna

In my original prints I combine hand with digital photographic techniques. I capture the beautiful details found in plant and flower structures through controlling light and composition. My methods include hand drawn monoprints, cyanotype sun prints and digital macro work.

I find the geometric patterns and structures found in flora fascinating. Representing these natural forms with intricate mark making and precise photographic techniques becomes a meditative process. Revealing tiny, hidden details through intricate, hand drawn studies and macro lenses emphasises the beauty found in even the simplest natural forms.

The three cyanotype prints shown are rooted in nature through both content and technique. I select natural forms for their structure and behaviour with light. The tiny veins in geranium petals glow with the backlit rays of sunlight. These sun prints are exposed in my garden. Some are direct photograms and others are using negative transparencies of my macro prints.

In a current project with a local writer I am creating a limited edition children’s book. My images for this publication playfully combine miniature figures and animals with the surrounding world.

Emily is also a teacher and examiner of Art, Design and Photography in London.

http://www.emilylimna.com

Well, “Sacred Spaces” is coming up in May, but for the present time I am having a little well earned break from the organisational tasks involved…I got those done early because I know how incessant it can all  seem.  Apart from a little bit of publicity,  I’m not needing to spend time on it right now.

Sacred Spaces Flyer by Jenny Meehan which promotes the Sacred Spaces Visual Art Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre in May 2014 organised on behalf of KAOS (Kingston Artists' Open Studios)

Sacred Spaces Flyer by Jenny Meehan which promotes the Sacred Spaces Visual Art Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre in May 2014 organised on behalf of KAOS (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios)

Which is GREAT!  I have some time to look at other peoples work a bit more!

Starting to invest more time in looking at Clyde Hopkins’ paintings

Before I start, I am no great writer, but writing is enjoyable to me, and at least attempts to put what seems, with painting, the mostly impossible into words…Well, it doesn’t do that,  it cannot, (thankfully) but it tries, in a clumsy way, to put logic this way and that, hopefully in an interesting manner.  I view writing about paintings as tempting, but always likely to miss the point, the point being ON the painting.  Something might be gained though by forcing my brain to use words as I look at a painting, even if what I say falls away, at least I will have invested the time in looking and thinking about it.  My brain is lazy.  It’s just a natural thing!  So over the next few journal posts, I will take the time to mull over Clyde Hopkins’ paintings.   So first comes:

Clyde Hopkins
Your Choice of Cereal (for Breakfast)
Painting
Oil on linen
Canvas size: 30 x 25cm

Copyright Clyde Hopkins

Well, that is kind.  My choice of cereal for breakfast.  In our house this is no small matter.  If your choice of cereal is not there, all hell breaks loose, it does, completely.  Maybe only slightly worse is the situation where there is a very small amount of cereal in the packet, but the person before you has scoffed pretty much all of the rest.  So the title, it relates.  How it relates to the painting will maybe need to remain something nice and personal to the painter himself, unless you happen to ask.  This is good.  It is kind.  It makes the start of my writing very simple.  And the painting is kind too.

The colour is kind.  Yes, colour can be kind.  It can relate respectfully to its surrounding colours, yet shine.  It can take up its room, and not trespass on someone else’s room.  This happens with this painting and it happens with all of Clyde’s paintings  (well, those I have seen (on the net) so far.  It is not easy to use so many colours when playing with space on the picture plane.  I have only just started to touch on what a skilful, sometimes painful,  task this can be.  So I am not surprised I find these paintings inspiring.  In my own painting I am tending to prefer soft edges rather than hard edges, but the undulations in this painting are just sufficient to relieve me of any “hard line stress” (invented term!)  that otherwise may creep into my mind as I look at them.

Those tiny little dots.  They call out “crafted”…We are applied, we are placed, with care.  They make a pleasing perceived and actual (though I cannot see from image, I am sure) texture.  It is great to have something hit the eye in this manner.  I think it has an energy of it’s own which works very effectively against the areas of flatter colour, though again, I suspect that, face to face, I would see a lot of what I am missing by just using an image.  There are other more subtle things going on.  But to have the obvious and heightened surface…to have it meet your eye in this way is a great visual sensation.  There are some patterns in this painting, but the regular areas both cover and reveal…they do this by being a covering but also making me think of the substrate underneath, in this case the linen.

More next post…

Baker Tilly in Guildford 

Here is another of the prints from the forthcoming exhibition at Baker Tilly in Guildford.

digital print buy abstract geometric Rush Hour - Jenny Meehan Signs of the Times Series

Rush Hour – Jenny Meehan Signs of the Times Series

I also now have available selected prints from the “Signs of the Times” series on my Photobox Gallery.  The Photobox Gallery is a handy facility for enabling people to buy my prints in a quick, easy and affordable way.  The prints I describe as “Poster Prints” because they are not signed and checked by me, but I am very confident about the quality.  They are in fact  A2 and A3 sized laser prints…So, they are photographic quality…by this, I mean they are printed on archival quality photographic paper using a chemical process, rather than ink-jet prints.  Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/19507

There are other options for different types of prints on the Photobox Gallery, but at the present time I am restricting the distribution of my work over the Photobox Gallery to just A2 and A2  prints.   However, if you do want something specific, just contact me with your requirements and I am completely free, (thanks to not limiting these images to “limited edition”) to arrange to have prints made to varying specifications and to be signed and numbered.  Prints which come from me personally are signed and numbered, even though not limited in number.

The laminated and mounted  prints which will be on show at Baker Tilly are signed on reverse with both my signatures.  I have two signatures, one is a combination of my initials and the other my usual signature which I use in daily life.  I tend to sign paintings just with the combination of my initials and prints with both.  I also sign my paintings on the back, as I don’t like to put marks on the front of my work.  Sometimes I do with drawings.  But it depends on the work.  I always use my initials signature, for all my work now.  I like the way it can be used on any material, for example, clay and even stone, quite easily.

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.

Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s bi-annual  mailing list please email j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.

Also, you could follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

I would be very pleased if you would  choose to “follow” the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed of what I am up to this way.   Just press  the “follow” button and pop in your email address.  You determine how often you get updates and you don’t need a WordPress account to follow Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.  I don’t have a Facebook page as yet, and won’t be on Twitter.  So this is the best way to follow my art practice.  Though I ramble on, I try to organise things for easy skimming, so you can pick and choose according to your own interests quite easily!    

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

Notice regarding my use of images on my Jenny Meehan Artist’s Journal blog:   I always try and contact the relevant artist if I include images of their work on my blog and make clear the source.  Where images are taken from other websites, I make it my practice to  cite the source and normally include a link to the place where the image was found.  When I include images I do so in the belief that this will not cause commercial harm to the copyright holder. I  believe that this is fair use  and does not infringe copyright.  Images are used in order for me to comment and reference them in relation to my own creative and artistic practice.  When I include extracts of text, I also do so with the understanding that again, this is permissible under the widely accepted fair usage terms with respect to copyright.

coast photograph image,jenny meehan photograph for church website st paul's hook surrey

The photograph (NOT from Portland!) above is one I prepared for the St Paul’s Church of England, Hook, Surrey website.    I don’t take so many photographs now as more focused on painting and drawing, but there is still a certain pleasure in “finding” pictures and they serve as a useful reference for myself in terms of tracking and recording my own visual interests.  It is also of course nice to share them and good if they serve some useful purpose for others, ie, being used on the church website!  With all the rocks to follow, I thought a bit of sand would be nice.

More Past Digital Photographs

portland stone portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,  portland bill portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,   portland bill portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,

portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,

Floating Stone – Portland Bill, Portland, Sussex – Jenny Meehan

portland bill portland sussex, jenny meehan digital photography image, black and white image portland bill, monochrome photograph of portland bill sussex uk,

Crevice – Portland Bill, Portland, Sussex – Jenny Meehan

Verne High Angle Battery on Portland

This year I am  looking forward to a return trip to Verne High Angle Battery…A historic monument which our children had immense fun exploring.  Standing at one opening and shouting and speaking in a haunting voice so that it runs along the passageways and comes out the other way is excellent fun and it is an interesting walk around that part of Portland.  The battery was built as part of Britain’s Coastal Defences in 1892 and is located in a disused Portland Stone quarry at the northern end of the island.  It is built of Portland stone, concrete and brick.

Note About Following Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal 

I would be very pleased if you would choose to “follow” the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed of what I am up to this way.   Just press the “follow” button and pop in your email address.  You determine how often you get updates and you don’t need a WordPress account to follow Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.  I don’t have a Facebook page as yet, and won’t be on Twitter.  So this is the best way to follow my art practice.  Though I ramble on, I try to organise things for easy skimming, so you can pick and choose according to your own interests quite easily!    

Exploring Stone Carving

Well, now I can no longer afford to grace the gardens of West Dean College,  I had been thinking for some time of how I can continue my training.   I think it very important to try different materials, whichever one you tend to prefer to use, and after using clay during an adult education class a couple of years ago, I realised that I do enjoy working very much in three dimensions, and, even as a painter, this is very important to develop.  To work with space and the tensions between parts possible with sculpture, and to work with light in a different way to that of colour, has worked its appeal into my mind quite well, and after toying with this and that, I decided to try out stone carving.   I found that Simon Keeley  http://www.simonkeeley.co.uk/ holds  stone carving classes, both in Surrey and also in the London area.  This year he will be running a  one week stone carving course in Umbria, in Italy.  It runs from 30th July for one week.   For details of this take a look at his teaching page and follow the link.  http://www.simonkeeley.co.uk/teaching.asp

Having made my fish in clay,  I now realise I have made quite a substantial commitment to stone carving, as I did not make things easy for myself by choosing a small block of stone to work on!  Thankfully, I do like working with the stone; in this instance, it is Portland Stone which is a limestone, so not very hard compared with some.    So, I have started, and will I finish?  I plan to!  Simon is a good teacher… This cannot be taken for granted with art classes, as there are many fine artists who are good at what they do, but not good at teaching it.   The group is fun and  I will post progress as it slowly happens up on this journal.    Simon does also teach at West Dean College,  and more information on his teaching can be located on his website http://www.simonkeeley.co.uk/

Portland Stone Surrounds Us

While when I think of Portland Stone I think of Portland,  I  realise that I am encountering Portland Stone all the time when I go into London.  When I took photographs of St Giles in the Fields last year,  I was curious as to why some of the stone work was black and other blocks white.  I asked The Reverend Alan Carr (Associate Rector The Parish Church of St Giles-in-the-Fields and Director of Ordinands, Two Cities Area) about this and he explained:

“Some years ago the stones on the north side of the church were cleaned, but not elsewhere. As a result the north side now has a slightly creamy colour, whereas the remainder of the church has retained the stark and original black and white colouring, much-loved by conservation architects. When left to itself Portland Stone will age and mature as we see on the south side, but when cleaned the colour composition is altered.  Individual stones which stand out brightly may have been cleaned separately, or be of a different density. The colouring of the north side of the church is also affected by the bright yellow colouring of Renzo Piano’s Central St Giles building opposite.’

After the Great Fire of London in 1666 Portland Stone was used to rebuild many buildings, some of which I often visit, for example, the British Museum and Somerset House.  The facade of Waterloo Station is also Portland Stone, and it was used by Sir Christopher Wren in St. Paul’s Cathedral too.  These are just a few of the buildings in London  built of Stone from Portland!

Baker Tilly Exhibition 

It is always nice to be invited to exhibit, and this has happened to me for the first time ever this year!  I will show four paintings  and four digital prints.  The paintings are from a flurry of painting activity over 2012 (I won’t say, a “series” of paintings, because it is more of an explosion of paintings!).  The digital prints are from a series, as I worked on them with a more predetermined aim right from the outset, and are examples of an intense period of experimenting over the Christmas period at the end of 2012/the Spring of 2013.  I called the series “Signs of the Times”.

Here is one of the prints:

Enclosed Garden (Hortus conclusus) Digital Print from Jenny Meehan's "Signs of the Times" print series.  See more at jamartlondon.com

Enclosed Garden (Hortus conclusus) Digital Print from Jenny Meehan’s “Signs of the Times” print series. See more at jamartlondon.com

The prints which will be on show at Baker Tilly are signed on reverse with both my signatures.  I have two signatures, one is a combination of my initials and the other my usual signature which I use in daily life.  I tend to sign paintings just with the combination of my initials and prints with both.  But it depends on the work.  I always use my initials signature, for all my work now.  I like the way it can be used on any material, for example, clay and even stone, quite easily.

I also now have available selected prints from the “Signs of the Times” series on my Photobox Gallery.  The Photobox Gallery is a handy facility for enabling people to buy my prints in a quick, easy and affordable way.  The prints I describe as “Poster Prints” because they are not signed and checked by me, but I am very confident about the quality.  They are in fact  A2 and A3 sized laser prints…So, they are photographic quality…by this, I mean they are printed on archival quality photographic paper using a chemical process, rather than ink-jet prints.  Here is the link to my Photobox Gallery:

http://www.photoboxgallery.com/19507

There are other options for different types of prints on the Photobox Gallery, but at the present time I am restricting the distribution of my work over the Photobox Gallery to just A2 and A2 laser prints.   However, if you do want something specific, just contact me with your requirements and I am completely free, (thanks to not limiting these images to “limited edition”) to arrange to have prints made to varying specifications and to be signed and numbered.

The “Signs of the Times” series is composed of completed works in their own right, but I also view several of them as foundational, and I will be drawing from them in the future, probably for the composition and colour combinations…Not to be directly transferred to another medium, but to inform and influence  other works. Maybe to become in quite a different form?  Who knows?  I am always tempted by three dimensions…

Leatherhead Theatre Exhibition 2014 

Wanting a chance to show you some of (Not all!  You will need to come along to the exhibition to see all the work on show!) the wonderful artwork which will be on display at Leatherhead Theatre this May.

If you are interested in this exhibition and are willing to help me promote it, then contact me at j.meehan@tesco.net, or through LinkedIn or through my website contact form at www.jamartlondon.com  and I will send you a high resolution image of the flyer below to print out. Just displaying it may mean that someone gets the opportunity to enjoy it.  Anyone with an interest in art and creativity, spirituality and contemplation would enjoy it very much indeed.

Sacred Spaces Flyer by Jenny Meehan which promotes the Sacred Spaces Visual Art Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre in May 2014 organised on behalf of KAOS  (Kingston Artists' Open Studios)

Sacred Spaces Flyer by Jenny Meehan which promotes the Sacred Spaces Visual Art Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre in May 2014 organised on behalf of KAOS (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios)

 Below is are some examples from some of the participating artists and I will post some more up on the next blog entry also.  I enclose the text which is written by the artists themselves about their work and has been combined into an Artists Information document which will be displayed with the work when the exhibition runs.

Richard Tomlin - Lula, sacred spaces exhibition leatherhead  surrey

Richard Tomlin – Lula

  Richard Tomlin

Lula – this charcoal study of Lula was produced one autumn Monday morning. Perhaps she is reflecting on the weekend just past, or her sister and family in far away Venezuela. There’s a sadness to her mood, a far away-ness that is made more poignant by her pale skin against her lustrous, long black hair.

The search for emotion – the reflection of the interior life – is the aspect of portraiture that I find so fascinating and equally illusive. To me she seems melancholy, but as so often with portraiture, the portrait says as much about the artist’s state of mind that is reflected in the image created.

Richard studied graphics at Portsmouth College of Art and practiced as a graphic designer in London. During 2013 he decided to refresh lost skills in drawing and painting. Inspired by the work of Lucian Freud, Andrew Wyeth and Alison Lambert, led him to focus on the human figure and portraiture. 

 Richard’s work is often the result of long periods of observation, the images gradually edging towards realisation. The discovery of charcoal has been a joy, black is one of the most important colours in his palette. His current work is focused on the search to express emotion through the image. 

Richard’s work can be found on his website: http://www.richardtomlin.co.uk

 

 

Still Waters 1- Jude Wild, sacred spaces exhibition leatherhead theatre

Still Waters 1- Jude Wild

Jude Wild

The two examples of my work on show are from a strand of my practice that is inspired by place. I don’t set out to record a specific scene, but to capture a memory, a feeling and a sense of place.  I aim to express my emotional response to this place.

The places that inspire me in this way most often include still, or slowly drifting water that gives scope for reflection.  Often they also include a symbolic feature such as a jetty or temple. Subconsciously I am seeking a place of contemplation or meditation – my inner sea of calm. I think that subsequently my work does very often have an ethereal and contemplative quality.

I originally trained at art school as a theatre designer and spent many years as a professional designer of both sets and costumes. An important aspect of this work was to produce a series of visuals to express the atmospheric lighting changes of the different scenes. Now that I paint fulltime, I find that it is the light and atmosphere that provides the starting point for my work. I use a limited colour scheme to intensify the image and bring a heightened sense of atmosphere.

Committee member and Art History lecture organiser for Richmond Art Society.

Training

Art & Design Foundation Course
Canterbury College of Art, Kent

Dip AD Stage Design
Birmingham College of Art

Short Course Drawing & Painting
Slade School of Fine Art, UCL

Post Graduate Certificate, History of Art & Architecture
Birkbeck, University of London

Part of the exhibition process will be a meeting between the artists through which we are able to discuss how our art working and creativity relates to spirituality and the idea of a “sacred space”.  Hence the exhibition title “Sacred Spaces”.  I will be posting more information about the artists taking part, including what they have to say about the work they are showing in the exhibition, over the next couple of months.  I also plan to use what we have discovered through our discussion and thinking in the formation of the text which will accompany the visual art.  I have found when organising exhibitions in the past, that the last couple of months need to be devoted to publicity as much as possible, but with most of the other admin tasks mostly done, I should have time to promote the exhibition as well as doing the rather more interesting and rewarding task of researching and writing, assimilating and reflecting on the whole process so far.

All this activity for this project has meant my own painting,  plus rather too many domestic tasks, have been left for a while.  Running the household, being a mother and seeking progression as an artist, plus organising an exhibition in between everything else, means I progress with my painting rather more slowly than might otherwise be the case.  But at least I have plenty of variety!  I also feel that it is important to recognise that all we do feeds into our work, and the life and vitality of what one does as a painter comes mainly from the richness of our life experiences.  We tend to put the different parts of our life into boxes, and rate some of more worth than others, but I think this is a mistake.  For example, if it has money attached then it is “worth” something.  If not, it tends to be overlooked.  Ask any parent and home-maker who works unpaid, or anyone involved in work with less tangible and measurable results than those determined by money, and I think, at this present time in our society, they  may be liable to finding their self-worth rather battered by our present government, who seem to equate working for cash and being conventionally “successful” in an economic sense as the only sign of value of anything.  (Moan over.  Shouldn’t really moan on my blog, but so hard to resist!)

Discovering Clyde Hopkins Painting

Looking on Abstract Critical, as I do from time to time when I feel like stretching a few of my brain cells, I came across some painting by painter Clyde-Hopkins.  Now his painting is very exciting to me, as it strikes internal chords, which I don’t need to define but just resonate with  some of the things in my current thinking…that kind of under the surface thinking which happens when I grapple with where I might experiment in my own painting.  This website has some examples:

http://www.soco.org.uk/index.php?q=gallery&g2_itemId=1716

Clyde kindly was happy for me to include images of his paintings in my blog, which is helpful, as much easier to comment on individual paintings that way!   I will, over the next few Jenny Meehan Journal posts, draw your attention to some which have caught the little fishes that swim through my mind the most.  I am only using digital images to base my comments on, so my response is limited significantly by the absence of the painting right before me.  I was planning to fit into this post, but I don’t want to do the paintings a disservice by trying to reflect on them in a rush.  Right now things are a bit too hectic for me to do them justice, so better not to write anything in haste.

As ALWAYS  my Jenny Meehan Journal is far too long!  However, I don’t write it just for you to read, (though it is nice to think it may be read, of course!).  I write it to attempt at some kind of narrative which traces and skims playfully along the course of my life.  I like the element of process  of writing a blog.  I chip away in little bits, (even though the end posts are long).  The little fragments come together and somehow my piecemeal life takes on at least a little order.  I worry I will look back in years and cringe.  But never mind. We are all entitled to change, and writing is only writing, after all.  It’s not written in stone!  Even if it was, it would wear down with time.

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.

Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s mailing list please email j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way.  Just press the “follow” button and pop in your email address.  You determine how often you get updates and you don’t need a WordPress account to follow Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal.    

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

Walking a Labyrinth at St John’s Church, Waterloo

Walking a labyrinth is a spiritual exercise to quiet, center, and allow contemplation and prayer.  I tried this experience out recently at St John’s Church, Waterloo.   People get very different things from the experience, depending on exactly where they are (in a personal sense!) when they choose to walk it.  The location also, it follows has a big impact too!   I enjoyed it  and found it much better than I expected it would be, and I came away with  some of the strands of thought which I had already been playing with in my mind, rather focused and much clearer.  So I suppose I could say it “worked” for me.  I am not interested at all in anything to do with “sacred geometry” or anything like this, I see it as a tool. It is a helpful structure, a useful form and pattern to hold a walk within it, and a good tool to help contemplation take place.

I took lots of lovely ideas away. For example, it was a nice feeling being in the centre,  and even though I personally always set myself to the path and did not think of the centre as a destination at any point, I did realise after walking the labyrinth several times that I liked the middle simply because it was the most surrounded part…It had the most layers or boundaries around it, so maybe it was a sense of safety there in the centre which I was enjoying so much?   It wasn’t so much a place to stop for me, as I found myself stopping en-route anyway to enjoy the interesting  paintings and sculpture which happen to be in the interior of St John’s and provided some very good foci in themselves.  But, because there was a bit more space, it was logical to stop in the middle and this is what pretty much everyone seemed to do.

I tried walking the Labyrinth both slowly and at speed.   When you walk fast, people tend to step aside as you approach!    (Why was I surprised at this!)  This reminded me of the potential damage that is done by rushing, not in the sense of bumping into people (Which did not happen, I hasten to add, I was very careful!) but in terms of relationship…That in being very busy, maybe, and moving very fast, other people may pull away and draw away from us at times where we might have been able to experience a closeness, an opportunity to show grace,  or simply to just relate more intimately because of  people feeling less need to pull away from us in order to protect themselves from our busyness which, let’s face it, can be a very damaging thing if it communicates (which is often does) that that other person doesn’t matter, or that you are not available to them, should they need you.  It was a rather risky and adventurous experiment, and I was conscious that in doing it quite differently, I made myself conspicuous.  It would have been quite different walking it fast with a bunch of lively children!

However, even the decision to risk being seen to be noticeably “different”  was a helpful and meaningful one for me.  To step out, follow the courage of my own conviction, and not to be self-conscious to the extent that stops me exploring in life, is something I have been working on for some time.   It seems that pretty much all the time we quite easily find difference, in whatever shape or form, challenging.  Be it disagreement, sexuality, culture, or religious beliefs… And I decided that rather than being something to shy away from, maybe I would be better served by embracing  differences and disagreements a little more myself, and by recognising that they can be positive, if handled with grace?  Walking at a difference pace was a way and method for me to imprint this into my mind.  It is all right to stick out sometimes!  We don’t all merge together in a huge blob like jelly.

By risking walking differently,  (though it was a little mortifying for me at the time), I have gained in that I will be able to picture clearly (for I won’t forget!) that there is a vulnerability involved in difference, a risk, and that those who are markedly different, and stand out, maybe more obviously, as “different” deserve respect and even admiration maybe at times, and certainly not hostility, because of the difference.  For we are all very very different from eachother, even if we look to be pretty similar on the outside.   The acceptance and implicit respect  of other peoples  ways of walking, their paths and journeys, however different in character, foot size, types of socks or length of toe nails  (!!!!) , are essentially the same, in that we are humans on a journey (essentially the same journey, called “life”), and cannot see the whole.   My wild and fanciful imagination takes me, on thinking the matter over right now, to a delightful image with rather extreme variations, ie some people hopping, others rolling, some dancing….all very different but on the same labyrinth at the same time.  Well, the differences where there, but far more subtle on this occasion.  What fun you could have with a wild and wacky labyrinth walk!

I had many other reflections on my Labyrinth walk at St John’s, Waterloo.  I met some interesting and lovely people, and also found watching other people walking the labyrinth quite moving too…  I hope to do the walk again at some point in time.

Kingston Artists’ Open Studio – Leatherhead Exhibition in May 2014  “Sacred Spaces”

Time runs so fast!  Despite my intentions to hibernate for the whole year, I am, of course, unable to do that.  However, I am now getting at least two good length studio sessions in per week.  So the discipline is paying off.   As well as my own painting I do enjoy spending time with other creatives, and wanted to organise an exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre this year for some of my fellow artist members of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios, or KAOS, ( the abbreviation, which I prefer!).  Last year I organised and curated “Order and KAOS” which focused in on abstraction in painting but this year I am going for a theme… one which I would like to explore with my fellow artists a little and also, very importantly, give us an opportunity to explore, think, reflect and ruminate, meditate, contemplate (pick the word you prefer!) on our work and also maybe even add new dimensions to our understanding and thinking about what we are doing, through the insights of one another.   So part of the exhibition process this year will be a meeting of the artists who are contributing their work also being able to contribute themselves by meeting and discussing together.   Among other things, I am  wanting to explore the important “sacred space” that exploration of our creative  selves through our art working provides.  How this works for each of us, what helps it to work well, what hinders,  how it relates to our sense of well being.  All that kind of thing. I will post more later.  Here is the flyer for the “Sacred Spaces” Exhibition at Leatherhead.   I quite enjoy designing flyers.

jenny meehan KAOS flyer leatherhead sacred spaces art exhibition. The flyer designed by Jenny Meehan for the Kingston Artists' Open Studios Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre 2014 Jenny Meehan curation project, exhibition curated by jenny meehan, community arts exhibition,

jenny meehan KAOS flyer leatherhead sacred spaces art exhibition.
The flyer designed by Jenny Meehan for the Kingston Artists’ Open Studios Exhibition at Leatherhead Theatre 2014

It is quite a way ahead, but time does whizz so.   I have selected the artworks and will hopefully be posting information on them and their creators as time goes by.  I am not organising a Private View for the exhibition, as in the past I have found that the travel distance from Kingston to Leatherhead has put people off.   However, the footfall at the theatre is normally very good at this time of year so I think the exhibition will get plenty of viewings!  Sorted out the blurb:

“Sacred Spaces” – Free Art Exhibition, Open to All.  Disabled Access.  Children Welcome. 

See this exciting and interesting collection of work by Kingston Artists’ Open Studio artists Chris Birch, Emily Limna,  Jenny Meehan,  Richard Tomlin,  Derek Turner,  Hilary Walker, and Jude Wild.

The exhibition is curated by Jenny Meehan on behalf of Kingston Artists’ Open Studios.  A varied mixture of  18 original paintings, monoprints and  photography by  seven  professional artists is sure to delight and interest you.  The title of the exhibition “Sacred Spaces” references the inner lives of the artists , the process of creating artworks,  and evidence  expressed  physically  in the artworks themselves.  In our creation we bring body and substance from our own inner contemplation, reflection and response to life and all we experience,  both internal and external.

Details are:

It runs from 2pm on Saturday 3rd May until Friday 30th May  during normal theatre opening hours which are normally 10am – 10pm. Sometimes the theatre closes at 4pm so best to check exact times with the theatre first. Phone:  01372 365141).

Leatherhead Theatre:  7 Church Street Leatherhead Surrey KT22 8DN.     The exhibition takes place on the ground floor main theatre foyer, and is accessible to all. Children are welcome.   There is a coffee shop too, so you can enjoy a drink while you look at the exhibition.

Contact Jenny Meehan at j.meehan@tesco.net for more information. Or see  www.jamartlondon.com and

www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk

Visiting Information:

The Leatherhead Theatre
7, Church Street
LEATHERHEAD
Surrey
KT22 8DN

Tel: 01372 365141
Fax:     01372 365195

Accessible location – 5 mins from M25, Junction 9

5 minutes walk from Leatherhead British Rail Station.
Town centre location, close to local shops and restaurants.

Three car parks within a few minutes walk (free after 6pm)

Parking is free on Sundays at the Swan Centre

Access to the exhibition is from Tuesday to Saturday inclusive.  The theatre is not open to the general public on Sundays or Mondays.

Spring Harvest

Looking forward to some refreshment of the spiritual variety this year at Spring Harvest, and I will be hearing from Dr Paula Gooder and Nick Herbert (worship leader and songwriter, part of the Worship Central team)  on the four days we are set to be there.  Text from the Spring Harvest website:  “Dr Paula Gooder is a writer and lecturer in biblical studies. Her research areas are the writings of Paul the apostle (with a particular focus on 2 Corinthians). She is canon theologian of Birmingham and Guildford Cathedrals, vice president of the Bible Society and visiting lecturer at King’s College, London”    It’s about time I invested some time in studying the Bible, so I look forward to attending at least a couple of studies when we are there.  And the worship is always great.  The sea is great too.  I could look at that for ages, as long as it is not too cold, wet or windy.  I hope the weather is better then!

Braque’s Wonderful Work

I am spending as much time as possible right now looking at some examples of Georges Braque’s paintings, something which is inspiring and motivates me to painting very much indeed.  As I toy with including more objects in my work, he is a good painter to look at, as he grasps both abstraction and objects together in an interesting way.

http://painters-table.com/blog/braque-phillips-collection#.Uu0vQvl_thY

I’m thinking of painting some of my own imaginary round table paintings… Kind of thinking along the line of a table being prepared in front of me, like the Psalm…

But with realised in wonderful paint, which does bring me joy!

Will post up when done.

Beautiful Stained Glass Windows at Winchelsea Church…

It is a while back, but finally got around to posting  these…

Stunned by the beauty.  Wonderful colours and design.  Will visit again.

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

winchelsea church st thomas the martyr stained glass windows

Painting and Drawing Workshop – Fridays – Once a Month

I currently have a place free on the once a month Painting and Drawing Workshop I hold in my home studio space.  You would need to commit to coming along to the series of sessions each term (normally three per term), but if you would like to try out the session on a one-off basis, then this is normally possible and will enable you to work out if the group is something that you would like to join for a term.   Just contact me via my website contact form at http://www.jamartlondon.com and I can let you know more.  I also hold occasional one day or half day workshops from time to time.

Brief Introduction to the Painting and Drawing Workshop…

Takes place on a Friday, once a month.  Either am (9.30 to 12 noon) or  pm (12.45 to 3.15)

It is a small group (maximum four), which makes it more akin to individual tuition and give you a level of input much greater than most adult education art courses normally offer you.

Each session provides a focus activity and includes teaching points which will help support your own experimentation. I am a qualified teacher (Post Graduate Certificate in Education) and have been practising as an artist for ten years.

I  will provide a balance of input, based on  developing drawing and observation skills, as we respond to the external environment /objects which surround us,  along with learning to trust our own instincts and  grow in our individual way of seeing/interpreting/expressing  things.   So whatever your preferred approach in terms of level of abstraction/direct observation,  the sessions will  provide opportunity to develop both your painting and drawing skills.

Frequent feedback,  active engagement,  appropriate challenge for your level of ability, and the opportunity to work in a way which develops your own autonomy in the process, will enable you to achieve your own objectives throughout the sessions and ensure the experience adds tangible value to you as you make your own creative journey.

Contact me if interested, any questions welcome.

“Calm Moment” selected for the Artistsmeet Open 2014 at Artistsmeet, Rickmansworth.

The variations of “Calm Moment” are very popular, as not only has the light version “Calm Moment” been selected for the Artistsmeet Open at Artistsmeet in Rickmansworth, but the darker version which I submitted to the KAOS  (Kingston Artists’ Open Studios) Riverside Exhibition was also selected for that exhibition.    Here they are:

geometric abstract colour design art jenny meehan jamartlondon british contemporary femaile artist symbolist graphic colourist contemporary abstraction experimental jenny meehan art for sale to buy prints affordable

calm moment. A calm moment spent looking at a
piece of artwork is always a good investment!

And the darker version…

geometric abstract colour design art jenny meehan jamartlondon british contemporary femaile artist symbolist graphic colourist contemporary abstraction experimental jenny meehan art for sale to buy prints affordable, jenny meehan abstract art print

The night time version, maybe calm moment in the dark, partner of calm moment in the light!

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.

Her website is www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at www.jamartlondon.com for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also produces representational/figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.  Both original fine paintings and other artwork forms (prices ranging from between £60 and £700) and affordable photo-mechanically produced prints are available to purchase.

Enquiries welcome.  I have more artwork than I can display on the internet, so let me know if you are looking for something specific in terms of style, function, or subject matter. 

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s mailing list please email j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

You tube video with examples of photography, drawing and painting

by Jenny Meehan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TAXqzMIaF5k

Website Link for jamartlondon:  www.jamartlondon.com 

Digital photography can be viewed on http://www.photographyblog.com/gallery/showgallery.php?cat=500&ppuser=5491

Geometric Abstract Design Painting in Progress Images

Just working on a geometric abstract design painting for All Glass in Paisley.  Enjoying the experience of using past experiments with textures in a rather more structured way.  I have always delighted in John Tunnard’s paintings and it is certainly interesting working with such a sense of order with both colour, texture and space.  It doesn’t feel too restrictive, there are still plenty of decisions to be made along the way, even though not one gestural mark in sight…Well, a tiny little bit to add variation to some of the areas but nothing that stands out and shouts “Look at Me!”  One of the most interesting parts of this project is translating the design, which was organised using vector graphics, and letting it take a new form in the material of the painting.  There’s no point in trying to copy from one medium to another, as the materials dictate their own directions and there is a need to be flexible and open to change.   This makes what could seem a rather laborious and unrewarding task unexpectedly interesting.

Here are some images of the work in progress:

Geometric  Non Objective Abstract Painting in Progress by Jenny Meehan, john tunnard influenced abstract painting by female British contemporary 21st century female painter designer jenny meehan,english modern painting influence,romantic abstraction geometric acrylic,glass texture surface abstraction, experimental exploratory painter visual artist from britain,jamartlondon,blues purple white grey black coloured painting abstract,

Geometric Non Objective Abstract Painting in Progress by Jenny Meehan

Messy edges everywhere, but while I am still working out the various surfaces, adjusting colours and generally playing around, there is no point making everything tidy at this stage.    I think I will also move away from a totally clinical look even in the final stages, with variations and imperfections playing their own part, though the black and grey areas will be knife-edged, I think.  (The colours are now quite different!  I have done a fair bit since inserting these images in the blog, but will put some more up in the next entry!)

I’ve got an idea now of what I will do with the existing ideas for colour, and also where to take the different areas to in order to create some interesting relationships…  Not sure about the hessian, even when colour is changed, so that may be coming off…  Though very different, diametrically opposite even, from how I was starting my paintings last year, I am enjoying the change in approach, though I don’t see myself sticking to this completely  pre-defined starting point/structure, unless I was working very large, in which case it would be wise.   I  think the process of navigating a way forward probably does come from pushing ahead one way, then reacting in another direction, then melding, then continuing…testing…. Maybe with repetition, deviation and hesitation! And always with reflecting, meditating, responding, analysing and generally waiting for paint to dry.

I am currently beginning to find that the combination of continuing with the reflective and analytical practice of both personal psychotherapy tied in with my faith journey as a Christian is providing many wells of potential directions for my painting, poetry and other work with imagery.  As always, I seek focus through reflection, and seek insight and wisdom as to decisions connected to my paintings and other work.

The Archive of Failure…

How could I resist not getting involved in this interesting project?  !!!!

We all know what it means to fail…

Aaron Head has put together “The Archive of Failure” which I am sure will be amusing and interesting view.

I won’t post mine up right now, as I don’t want to spoil the impact of the publication, but I cannot wait to see the other images included in “The Archive of Failure”

http://archiveoffailure.com/

Thinking about failure, I failed to get my submission of artwork into the Urban Dialogues Exhibition this year.  It’s always worth enquiring as to how many submissions were received and how many artworks were selected.  I did enquire and this was the result:  “This year we received 255 submission of artwork, of that yours was shortlisted to the final 30. In the end we had to settle on 20 artists to show.”     Ahhh, so close and yet so far.   Though it is disappointing not to be able to show something, and the application process and pulling the work together all takes time, I guess I can be pleased to have been among the final 30.  This is the value of asking, because it is too easy to get demoralised when you enter things and don’t get selected.   I really like the Urban Dialogues purpose/project and don’t think this failure will put me off making the effort to enter something next year.  I went along to the  women’s event at the Red Gallery this week and had a  good chance to see the exhibition then.  The best part of my visit was seeing “The Fury Project”.  The discussion was good, but too short, which is a shame because the panel were all very interesting women in their own right and it would have been good to hear more from both them and the other women there.  A “red herring” was thrown in at one point, and this unfortunately did the usual thing that red herrings do…plummet the direction of an interesting debate into the abyss…   It happens so easily and so quickly.  But there was a lot of very good reflection and opinion in the main. Details of the Panel:

Discussion Panel: FEMINIST ACTION – ON THE RIGHT TRACK?
Chaired by BBC Correspondent RAZIA IQBAL
With:
LAURA BATES – Everyday Sexism Project
JULIE SADDIQI – Islamic Society of Britain
DR ALTHEA LEGAL-MILLER – King’s College London
Jacqueline Nicholls – Artist

Pallant House Gallery, Chichester

I am very fond of Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, and normally make a visit there when I am in that neck of the woods, which is usually when I am doing some course or other at West Dean College in Chichester.  Rather short of money for attending courses at the present time, and so I won’t be making a trip to Chichester or West Dean for some time…Maybe I will need to give this exhibition of Eric Ravilious  woodcuts, lithographs and blocks a miss, which is a great shame as I LOVE his work.  The blurb for the Ravilious Prints Exhibition taken from the Pallant House Gallery website  is quoted below:

“Our new autumn season kicks off this month with an eclectic array of openings and events, starting with an exhibition of the celebrated painter, designer, book illustrator and wood engraver, Eric Ravilious (1903 – 42). One of Britain’s most popular and versatile artists, Ravilious produced distinctive watercolours, lithographs, and graphics in the 1930s for companies such as London Transport and ceramics for Wedgwood which are hugely evocative of the era. The exhibition, runs from 8 October – 8 December 2013 in the De’Longhi Print Room and includes woodcuts, lithographs and blocks by the artist.”

Eric Ravilious produced a huge amount of high quality work over his busy life, and I get great pleasure from looking and reflecting on his amazing craftsmanship.

Grayson Perry Playing to the Gallery 2013 Democracy Has Bad Taste – The Reith Lectures

The best part of my day today  (16/10/2013) was listening to this!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b03969vt/The_Reith_Lectures_Grayson_Perry_Playing_to_the_Gallery_2013_Democracy_Has_Bad_Taste/

Brixton Drawing Project

I love walking around London and spend a fair bit of time exploring, so you can imagine how pleased I was to stumble into Brixton East, 100 Barrington Road, Brixton, SW9 on Sunday to find a beautiful and interesting space, lots of paper, charcoal, pencils, etc, and people drawing, relaxing music, an amazing lavatorium (this is my playful name for a toilet, loo, restroom, etc), and a very nice cup of tea.  (Thank you so much for that! It inspired my artworking!)   I found out that the Brixton Drawing Project, (now in it’s third year, I think) is a week long event and started on the 1st of October, so I felt fortunate to have made it there by accident.   I also bumped into an old friend, unexpectedly, which was lovely and she kindly gave me a home made pastel.  This may not seem very exciting to many, but home-made art materials always go down very well with me; I love using them and I was most grateful for it.    It is wobbly and distorted and full of natural and individual charm…Just like the most interesting people in life!

The Brixton Drawing Project managed to get funded this time around through crowd funding, which is fantastic and meant that they did not need to charge people for taking part.  I feel strongly this is a very important kind of facility and activity to exist, as it connects people, all people…Not just those who might label themselves “artists”, but anyone who may like to play…Play with markmaking, responding, seeing.   Spend time observing, looking, interpreting.  Drawing is a natural and essential activity, I think, and it’s wonderful to have been able to share in the Brixton Drawing Project in a small way.  They held an exhibition of the work carried out on Sunday from 7pm  (mine included) and it was rich in variety, a real delight to see.  Though I didn’t attend from 7pm onwards, there was a lot of the drawing up ready for the exhibition on the walls when I came earlier on in the day, and so I got to see quite a bit of it.  Here are my image of the Brixton Drawing Project when I was there…

Brixton Drawing Project - Jenny Meehan at Brixton East.  My offering, in charcoal.  There is a small figure standing in the realm of a markmaking landscape.  jenny meehan markmaking drawing experimental exploratory,romantic landscape with moon

Brixton Drawing Project – Jenny Meehan at Brixton East. My offering, in charcoal. There is a small figure standing in the realm of a markmaking landscape!

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

jenny meehan brixton east,brixton drawing project, drawbrixton image

Kingston Arts Salon

Quite a sociable time at the moment, and it was great to view the KAOS (Kingston Artist’s Open Studios) exhibition once more at the Cafe at Court Farm Garden Centre in Worcester Park during the Kingston Arts Salon Networking event.  I think it is very valuable and important for creative practitioners of all varieties, be they into music, writing,  visual arts, drama, dance, etc to mix, because we are engaged in the same wonderful creative adventure, in different forms…These forms can relate in so many interesting ways, and we can learn so much from eachother.

 Court Farm Garden Centre  Cafe Art Exhibition – KAOS (Kingston Artists Open Studios) 

I have three of the “Signs of the Times”  Laminated Ink Jet Prints on Foamex hanging as part of the KAOS (Kingston Artist’s Open Studios) exhibition at  Court Farm Garden Centre Cafe Exhibition space.   The Cafe is part of the Court Farm Garden Centre in Tolworth Surrey.   There is a large area for art exhibitions in the Cafe and there is work from around 13 artists in the Court Farm Garden Centre show, which will be up for a couple of months I think, right up until Christmas.

Address for the Cafe if you fancy going along to take a look at the exhibition is:

Café at Court Farm Garden Centre. Old Kingston Road, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7QH  (actually very near to Tolworth British Rail, even though address is Worcester Park) 

The three works I chose to show were “Irritation”  “We Get On” and “That’s Enough” .  Mmmm, maybe I should change the order of those to how things generally go, ie “We Get On”  “Irritation” and then “That’s Enough” !

That's Enough Digital Print by Jenny Meehan  for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre  This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex.  It can be purchased with or without a frame.  Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

That’s Enough Digital Print by Jenny Meehan for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex. It can be purchased with or without a frame. Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

"We Get On"  Digital Print by Jenny Meehan  for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre  This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex.  It can be purchased with or without a frame.  Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

“We Get On” Digital Print by Jenny Meehan for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex. It can be purchased with or without a frame. Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

"We Get On"  Digital Print by Jenny Meehan  for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre  This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex.  It can be purchased with or without a frame.  Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

“Irritation” Digital Print by Jenny Meehan for sale to buy at Chessington Court Cafe and Garden Centre This ink-jet print is laminated and mounted on Foamex. It can be purchased with or without a frame. Bold, bright, geometric composition from British female fine and applied artist Jenny Meehan jamartlondon.com

 

 

Ignore the fact I have described in the above text the venue as being “Chessington Court Cafe”…My error in haste and now rather too busy to go back and change it on everything!

There is a great range of many different artists work on show, with a nice selection of both fully abstract/non objective work, to semi-abstract and then extremely detailed photo-realistic artworks, so something for everyone.  All the work on show is by KAOS members.  Come along to Café at Court Farm Garden Centre. Old Kingston Road, Worcester Park, Surrey, KT4 7QH and take a look  yourself.

Dorking Museum Greetings Cards

I am just working on some Greetings Card Designs for Dorking Museum which will be available in the Dorking Museum shop very soon.   I will post these up soon.

Partia “Places I Remember – Collective Nostalgia Photography Exhibition at Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool 

Just packing up  one of my digital C-prints to send off to Aintree University Hospital, Liverpool.   Here is a little bit of information about this interesting exhibition which runs for one month:

‘Places I Remember: Collective Nostalgia’ photography exhibition with PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital 

PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital NHS Trust are currently accepting submissions to our photography exhibition ‘Places I Remember: Collective Nostalgia’ (1st October – 1st November 2013).

Inspired by The Beatles song from which this exhibition takes its name, PARTIA invites photographers to submit work to this exhibition that explore their ideas of collective nostalgia. Photographers are not limited to an examination of Liverpool; this exhibition theme can be explored either through work that directly represents particular locations or perhaps via photographs and photographic collages of items that are symbolic of a specific location.

Unlike a traditional gallery space PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital welcomes a variety of work from established to emerging artists and receives 350,000 visitors per year.

The work submitted for this exhibition is “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?”

 Jenny Meehan "How Much is that Doggie in the Window" Digital C-Print exhibited as part of the "Places I Remember - Collective Nostalgia" Photography Exhibition with PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital Liverpool.

Digital C-Print exhibited as part of the “Places I Remember – Collective Nostalgia” Photography Exhibition with PARTIA at Aintree University Hospital Liverpool.
This little ornament caught behind glass at a local charity shop, caught my eye, and brought to mind the song “How Much is that Doggie in the Window?” Jenny Meehan

I presented the image behind glass (Of course!… To add more reflections to the reflections which are caught on the image itself) and framed it in a simple black wooden 9x7inch frame.

Information submitted with the image as follows:

“My local charity shop is the place for me where the  words “collective nostalgia” resound most powerfully.  I  often gaze into the window and see objects which, if I let them, bring into my mind all kinds of connections and associations. The mish-mash of different things brought together, each with memories and meaning for the unknown people who used to own them.

Jenny Meehan is a painter, photographer and writer based in South West London.  See her website http://www.jamartlondon.com for more about her visual arts practice.”

If you live in Liverpool do pop in and see the exhibition…It’s a bit far for me to travel right now, but it sounds like an interesting exhibition.

Bit of an advance notice but I am holding a Studio Art Sale in my kitchen studio space on Saturday 9th November 3pm – 7pm.   Please let me know if you plan to come so I know how many people roughly to expect by emailing me at j.meehan@tesco.net or using the contact form on my website www.jamartlondon.com 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Jenny Meehan is a painter and designer based in East Surrey/South West London.
Her website is http://www.jamartlondon.com.  (www.jamartlondon.com replaces the older now deceased website http://www.jennymeehan.co.uk)

Jenny Meehan BA Hons (Lit.) PGCE also offers art tuition.  Please contact Jenny at j.meehan@tesco.net or through the contact form at http://www.jamartlondon.com for further details.   Commissions for paintings are also undertaken at affordable prices.

 Jenny Meehan works mainly with either oils or acrylics  creating both abstract/non-objective paintings  and also semi-abstract work.  She also creates representational and figurative artwork,  mostly using digital photography/image manipulation software, painting and  drawing.

Jenny Meehan exhibits around the United Kingdom and holds regular Open Studio/Studio Sale events.  To be placed on Jenny Meehan’s mailing list please email j.meehan@tesco.net requesting to be kept up to date.  Also, follow the Jenny Meehan Contemporary Artist’s Journal at WordPress and keep informed that way. 

I tend to spend a lot of time at this time of year reviewing past work, which is very important to do, because looking back at what you have done with some distance between you and your work, you see things you didn’t, and, thankfully, sometimes you recognise something which quite clearly points the way forward.  Last year, for the first time, I did some painting in a series.  Not in terms of the subject matter, but simply just the format (50x70cm), substrate (canvas) and paint (acrylics).  This was worth doing, quite simply because it gave me a collection of work which generally hangs well together.  The additional factor of using  some pre mixed colours across the thirteen paintings brought a connection between the works which is useful if they need to be hung together, which they were when up at Alliance Healthcare.  I didn’t find that working this way took anything special away from the individual works, which all developed along their own path very independently.

A new venture for 2013 is some women’s painting tuition which I will start in February.  It’s been in my mind for a while, and I think I should use my Post Graduate Teaching Certificate in combination with what I have learnt over the last seven years or so.  One to one painting tuition can be very expensive, so a small group setting is more accessible for the majority of people.  I plan to structure it in a fairly informal way, with teaching points based on peoples individual needs.  There might be some whole group teaching if there is a shared interest in a particular problem or subject, but I want to utilize the character of a small group (maximum 4) to enable people to develop in their own directions in a very focused way from the outset.  I’m very much looking forward to this, because I loved teaching when I taught, and the mural at Trafalgar reminded me how much I enjoy it.  I don’t want to waste what I have. I have  one group starting in February, and hope to add another session later on in the year if other commitments allow.  If you are interested in joining an adult painting and drawing class at some point, let me know.  The classes will continue to be in the daytime and for women only in the immediate future.

I have also joined KAOS (Kingston Artist’s Open Studios) and it’s really lovely to get to know other artists in my geographical area, something I have meant to do for ages.  Here’s the website:  http://www.kingstonartistsopenstudios.co.uk/

Looking forward to West Dean soon, for some life drawing, which is hard work but very worthwhile.  I cannot afford more than a weekend course at West Dean now, so I intend to make the very most of it.  I think I might need to give up on the idea of returning to West Dean for a few years, because though I consider the continuation of my training essential, there are many other demands on our finances, and other needs are also to be considered.  But to have an opportunity for some concentrated time with drawing is long overdue for me, and I am very much looking forward to some hard work.  The problem with working mainly with abstraction for a while is that there is no need to really study external subjects with such intent, and direct observation, while it appears restrictive in one sense, in reality is far from restrictive but opens up new and exciting possibilities which can only come from the outside.

I will certainly be going along to see this free exhibition at the British Museum:  http://www.britishmuseum.org/whats_on/exhibitions/bubbles_and_bankruptcy.aspx?utm_source=enewsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Dec2012&spMailingID=40798212&spUserID=MTY0ODIwNDUzOTgS1&spJobID=173607659&spReportId=MTczNjA3NjU5S0.   Call me a prophet of doom, but I think that this financial crisis/downturn/whatever is going to last a very long time and quite possibly get worse, and it is going to take/make a very radical shift for most people in terms of values.  We have been saturated in what I will playfully call “materialist esteem” ; something that will caress and love you AS LONG AS YOU CAN PAY FOR IT.  I whimsically thought yesterday of what life would be like without advertising, and while it would probably be harder to get hold of what you wanted, it may also be true that you may not really want it anyway.  How much of our desire is created by external influences which tell us that “THIS or THAT is what we need?”  Fascinated, as I have been for some time, by the idea of using materials traditionally utilised by advertising,  ie PVC banners, Foamboard signs, etc. I’m now working on my next solo exhibition “Signs of the Times” which will mainly consist of some recent abstract prints expressing small phrases/actions/emotions, for example “Putting Your Point Across”  “Relaxing Walk” “Irritation” etc.  Just the simple things.  No instructions.  Nothing to “live up to”.  Nothing much to think about.  Just visual experience to relate to, however you want.  No pressure.  I let the viewer know what the work meant to me in the title…I have a pet hate of “untitled” work, (if it is called that intentionally), and not just because the artist hasn’t made up their mind, (or maybe not even thought it worth a title). Things deserve a name.  Sometimes more than one.  It can change.  There’s no rule against it. As long as it rings true. As long as it really does relate.

Here is some of the work.  It is available as prints in various forms, including Digital C Prints, Poster Prints, slightly more expensive Giclee Prints, and some very nice quality affordable Ink Jet Prints on Bond Paper.   Contact me at j.meehan@tesco.net if you would like to buy one.

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, kandinsky style art

“We Get On” Jenny Meehan. Reasonably priced prints available contact Jenny Meehan for more details

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, kandinsky style art,"christian artist working with abstraction"

“Calm Moment” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, kandinsky style print, "christian artist working with abstraction"

“Gentle Touch” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, "christian artist working with abstraction"

“Growing” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images,christian female visual artist,

“Irritation” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images,kandinsky style art prints for sale to buy

“No Problem” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, geometrical abstract art prints to purchase for sale cheap,

“One Moment” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, fine art abstract to buy collectable british contemporary female artist,

“Putting Your Point Across” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, christian spiritual religious abstraction art prints

“A Quick Dip” Jenny Meehan

Jenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images, female abstract artist,abstract art prints to buy for sale affordable cheap

“There May Be Trouble Ahead” Jenny MeeJenny Meehan jamartlondon fine art digital prints expressive abstraction experiments 2013, British female contemporary fine artist painter south west london,east surrey United Kingdom.  graphic communication signs signage symbolistt geometrical abstraction images

Jenny Meehan

Just got the month for my next Cornerhouse Community Art Centre Exhibition, and it is June.  So I will be showing some of the above there I expect.

I digress. Joyfully.

Back to the current Financial situation.  I look back nostalgically on my photographic artwork “Don’t Bank On It – Still Life ” which was selected, I am very pleased and grateful to say, for exhibition at Pallant House Gallery in Chichester as one of the works on show as part of their Open Art Competition: the “Pallant House/St Wilfrid’s Hospice Open Art Exhibition. What a long time ago that was!  But I still feel a little sense of achievement, having had some work displayed there.  It’s always encouraging when someone chooses to exhibit your work.  It’s not the reason for doing it, but it does help to know that lots of people are able to see it, because let’s face it.  There’s not much pleasure to be had from a load of artwork stuck in a cupboard.  The spider’s might enjoy it. I am not sure if moths like paintings. Do they? Or does the paint put them off?

Here is “Don’t Bank On It – Still Life”, which I am still happy with, so it seems to be standing the test of time.

dont bank on it jenny meehan still life vanitas contemporary photograph at pallant house gallery chichester,jenny meehan jamartllondon british contemporary photography vanitas financial downturn crisis themed artwork visual art imagery,economic recession art photography

Had a look around the London Art Fair.  I found myself drawn to every Ivon Hitchens and Alan Davies painting in the building, which made me smile.  Nothing else seemed as interesting to me as their work.  Not on that day, anyway!

I’m getting quite irritable at my own lack of painting, but I’m needing to sort out some domestic matters, which have to be done.

I like the Mall Galleries (Mall Galleries, The Mall, London, SW1) very much.  It is a lovely space, doesn’t feel cold (I mean in the emotional sense!) and I very much enjoyed the exhibition “The British Scene” which runs from 24th January to 16th February.  This is well worth a visit.  Works which I enjoyed the most: Melvyn Petterson “Hainton Track Snow”; an etching which demonstrated a wonderful match of subject matter to medium…Even the tiny specks against the white rang true in terms of depiction, yet, only there in chance, however, as in reality, only there in chance.  How satisfying to see that.  However, nothing chancy about the composition; it is the best I have seen for ages.  The scratching and scrapings of black grass against the snow in their composition which created a path; a path you wanted to walk down even though it somehow seemed like you shouldn’t…Well, that’s how my imagination worked for me!  I love the rather uncharted walkways idea…The whole thing of walking BEHIND the facades, and I think that is what drew me to this particular work.  You can view Melvyn Petterson’s “Hainton Track Snow” on the Mall website, as it is for sale. If I had the money, this is the work in the exhibition I would have brought!  It is very reasonably priced and some of the edition still available.  

http://mallgalleries-shows.com/

Ah, better than that I have permission to include on the blog!

Hainton Track Snow by Melvyn Petterson etching mall gallery london 2013

Hainton Track Snow by Melvyn Petterson

I also enjoyed Anthony Morris’s “River Melte, South Wales”.  It was beautifully framed too.  It has a sensitivity and softness, with just the right amount of light.  Unfortunately the image on the Mall website is far more contrasty than the painting itself, and this pretty much takes away the feeling which the painting gives, which is far more gentle, and indeed, the power it possesses isn’t due to impact in a dramatic way but to some beautiful brushworking and a certain restraint in the use of light; just enough to give it the necessary life, but really JUST enough, which I think was the appeal for me.

Out of the Peter Clossick paintings I liked “Yellow Flowers” most, and it is so rewarding to see such dynamic use of paint bringing structure and form on the surface, hand in hand with confident colour.  I felt I wanted a little bit more definition in the yellow flowers because they were the focus, but however it’s not my painting, so it matters not!  Also, I could easily change my mind either way, because the colour itself may hold enough autonomy to assert the flowers, indeed it did.  And the title helps.  It is maybe to easy to define things too much too.  I think this is a very difficult matter, because more damage is done by showing too much than too little in a painting in my opinion.  Maybe it is good to make the viewer work a little harder in certain areas!

Also noted by me were some of Bob Rudd’s painting’s particularly “Lakenheath Fens, Suffolk” and seeing these added some urgency to my desire to play with watercolours this year. An unexpected find for me too, in the book shop area, in the shape of a book containing images of  Michael Morgan’s paintings.

Popping along to the Cork Street Open 2013 was also a good trip.  Huge variety of work, which was very interesting.  My favourite by miles, was a sculpture by Colin Hoppe. (which has a french accent on the e, though I don’t know how to insert it here).

Take a look at the work “Back to Basics” which was on display at the Cork Street Open here:

http://www.hillingdonartists.org/artists/Colin%20Hoppe/Colin%20Hoppe.htm

and his own website also:http://www.feelliketouchingsculptures.co.uk/ 

I nearly fell off my chair when I found out he was blind.  What a humbling experience to see, touch and feel something so beautifully created with such power.

Jonathon Chapman has moved “Art in the Ark”, to a section of his own website and the new address is http://www.jkchapman.com/art_in_the_ark/.  Jonathon does an excellent job of organising the exhibition programme at The Ark Conference Centre and it is well worth taking a look at his coverage.

Well, these are the snippets for now.

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